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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, September 28, 2023


Alex de Minaur saved three match points roaring back from a 2-5 deficit in the final set edging Andy Murray 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6) in a Beijing thriller.

Photo credit: Emmanuel Wong/Getty

Demon is Alex de Minaur's nickname.

Defiance is de Minaur's brand name.

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A gritty de Minaur denied three match points fighting off former world No. 1 Andy Murray 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6) in a Beijing thriller.

Two-time Olympic gold-medal champion Murray turned the match around and was in position to close holding a pair of match points at 5-2 on the Aussie's serve in the decider.

An unrelenting de Minaur saved both match points holding for 3-5. Down 5-6 in the tiebreaker, de Minaur fought off a third match point when Murray dragged a forehand wide.

The resilient Aussie exploited three forehand errors in a row from Murray closing in a gripping two hours, 51 minutes.

"I think to be honest we both didnt bring out best level today," De Minaur said. "It was a scrap fest and was not pretty but I am happy I was able to get my first win in a long time when I have saved some mtach points.

"I kept my head screwed on and I told myself to keep trying and to keep backing myself and eventually I was going to find my level. I am very happy to turn that match around."

It was de Minaur's fifth win over Murray in as many meetings and will be a brutal emotional loss for the 40th-ranked Briton, who put himself in position to prevail but could not close.

Serving at 5-6, de Minaur stamped a love hold to force the tiebreaker. The speedy Aussie burst out to a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker only to see Murray reel off four points in a row and earn a third match point on a forehand error at 6-5.

That was the last point Murray won as his forehand failed three times in a row. When Murray sailed a final forehand, de Minaur was through to round two where he awaits either second-seeded Daniil Medvedev or American Tommy Paul.


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