Andy Murray continued his positive return to singles play after hip surgery with a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) win over 13th-ranked Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the first round of the China Open on Tuesday.
Berrettini, who is eighth in the ATP’s Race to London standings, broke Murray and served for the first set at 5-3, only for the three-time grand slam winner’s customary fighting spirit to kick in and force a tiebreak.
The 32-year-old was dominant in the initial breaker, allowing his Italian opponent only two points.
The pair exchanged breaks early in the second, which also went the distance.
Murray dug in to save two set points before prevailing 9-7, setting up an all-Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets.British clash against Cameron Norrie.
“It was tough. At the end I was just trying to fight and play as offensively as possible,” Murray said post-match
“It cost me on a few points but helped me out a bit at the end and I got over the line with a good passing shot at the end.”
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The former top-ranked Murray, who had a hip resurfacing operation in January, fired eight aces and saved five of seven break points to pick up his second tour-level singles win since returning in August.
Berrettini, ranked No. 20 in the world, is the highest-ranked player the Scot has defeated since returning to singles action.
Murray defeated Tennys Sangren in the opening round of the Zhuhai Championships last week, before losing to eventual champion Alex de Minaur in the second round.
“Last week was a big step for me. Now I just need to try and get the matches, get them consistently, so that I’m used to playing three, four matches in a week,” Murray said.
He will next play British compatriot Cameron Norrie, who beat Chile’s Cristian Garin on Monday.
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