Can you believe it? This opening tie between the 13th seed Italian Matteo Berrettini & Andy Murray from Scotland has been incredible that went on and on for almost five hours through a five-set showdown at Rod Laver Arena.
Murray was just 6-7 games away from upsetting Berrettini in straight sets at one point after a fast first half so far this afternoon. However, Berrettini never give up along the way starting with the 2nd half run of this tie. Not only he has a brilliant build-up base as always, but he also began to show some rebound in the 2nd half – including when playing at tiebreakers – where Berrettini managed to level 2-2 with Murray & bring it towards a final set decider.
In the end, it has to be one of the experienced grand slam stars over a Top 15 seed, as Murray has advanced into Round 2 for Thursday while Berrettini crashed out way early after the 2nd day of this year’s Australian Open. The final score was 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7 tiebreaker) & 6-7 (6-10 tiebreaker).
It’s heartbreaking to see Berrettini exit Melbourne Park after a long & tough day on-court. He knows how to get the ball rolling & respond to setbacks, having been around grand slam Final 8s a couple of times before. The only weakness he couldn’t get past the Scot is being able to close him out comfortably even though he won some narrow 3rd & 4th sets, which didn’t happen at least once throughout this afternoon.
And gotta praise the Scot for showing some fighting spirit that helped him collect a couple of grand slam titles before. He has a great start as always as an experienced competitor. Now he may have some inconsistency as this tie goes on, which is something Murray will be tested again on Thursday. But again, he just never gave up where not only he fought back a couple of games to stay in contention, but Murray also corrected his previous tiebreaking errors & bring this unreal tie to a close with the win as an outsider nowadays.
Murray’s next opponent for R2 will be either Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis or another Italian in Fabio Fognini.