Andy Murray and Frances Tiafo played in the first round of the indoor tennis tournament in Antwerp, the longest match of the year for two winning sets on the ATP Tour.
Former world top player Murray won the tie-break battle 7: 6, 6: 7, 7: 6 after three hours and 45 minutes and made it through the first round of tournaments for the fifth time in a row.
“I think this is the first time in my career that I have played a game with a score of 7: 6, 6: 7, 7: 6. It is certainly my longest game in three sets with a significant margin. “I’m tired now, it’s been an incredible battle,” Murray said after Tuesday night’s duel.
Murray and Tiafoo overcame the longest game of the season so far since the final of the clay court tournament in Barcelona by seven minutes, in which Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas lost at 3.38am.
In the final tie-break, Murray, 34, avoided two match points eleven years younger than Tiafoe. He himself turned the second opportunity to end the game with a short backhand, which the American ran on, but failed to get the ball through the net.
“My body is old. I don’t mind long games, but it’s a whole different level,” said Murray, whose career has been plagued by hip problems in recent years. “A great match, a great atmosphere, it’s great to play again in front of the spectators,” added the three-time Grand Slam champion and two-time Olympic champion.
In Antwerp two years ago, Murray won the last 46th title of his career. His next opponent at the European Open will be the second seed, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
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