Andy Murray continued his preparation for the 2022 Australian Open with a battling win over second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last 16 of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Murray is bidding for a deep run in Sydney ahead of his first appearance at the Australian Open since 2019.
He came through 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 6-3 against world No. 23 Basilashvili in a hard-fought match that lasted three hours and 14 minutes.
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“It was an unbelievably tough match,” Murray said in his on-court interview.
“He is hitting the ball consistently bigger than anyone on the Tour. I was having to do a lot of defending and running but my legs stood up well and at the end I served really well in the last set.”
Murray will next face eighth seed David Goffin, with fellow Brit Dan Evans a potential opponent in the final if they both win two more matches.
Murray has shown some encouraging form over the last six months and started brightly against Basilashvili as he opened up a 5-2 lead in the first set.
But Basilashvili broke back and took the set to a tiebreak, which he won 7-4 after winning six of the last seven points.
Murray broke for 3-2 in the second set as he chased down a drop shot and flicked the ball right into the corner.
Again Basilashvili responded, breaking in the 10th game after Murray spurned three set points.
However, Murray came through the tiebreak this time and asserted himself in the final set by opening up a 3-0 lead.
Even though he spurned three break points for a 4-0 advantage, Murray closed out the match as the clock ticked beyond midnight in Sydney.
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