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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Andy Murray beat an ill Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Hard Rock Stadium to become the third active man with 30 wins at the Miami Open.

Photo credit: Quality Sport Images/Getty

Fueled by snapping shots and snarling spirit, Andy Murray savored dog days with a historic Miami Open win.

Murray mastered a dazed and seemingly ill Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Hard Rock Stadium to reach the Miami Open second round.

Sabalenka: My Heart is Broken

Murray zapped nine aces, saved four of five break points and committed half as many unforced errors as Berrettini to become the third active player to score 30 wins at the Miami Open.

Afterward, Murray scrawled self-deprecating sense of humor on the court side camera, writing “Life in the old dog yet!”

Eleven years after Murray defeated David Ferrer in a third-set tiebreaker to capture his second career Miami Open crown, he unleashed his inner competitive Bulldog fueling his comeback against Berrettini, who seemed to battle dizziness late in the second set.

“It was obviously a great win for me," said Murray, who improved to 30-11 in Miami. "I started off a little bit slow, but I do think I played pretty well from the middle of the first set until the end of the match.

“I created a lot of opportunities and he was struggling for a little bit at the end of the second and beginning of the third. I capitalized on that and got off to a quick start in the third. I served it out well in the end."

Former Wimbledon finalist Berrettini, who won three three-setters in a row en route to last week’s Phoenix Challenger final, started well, breaking in the opening game and consolidating at 15 for a 2-0 lead.

Playing on a protected ranking, Berrettini barreled through eight of the last nine points on serve to take a one-set lead.

The scoreboard showed temperature at 76 degrees on court, which is mild for Miami.

A fine drop volley followed by a flat forehand return down the line helped Murry carve out the break for a 4-2 second-set lead after one hour, 23 minutes. Murray backed up the break at 30 for 5-2.

Ninety-minutes into the match, Berrettini was about to serve when he looked woozy and light-headed. Berrettini leaned on his Head racquet as if it were a cane to stabilize himself.

Walking to his court side seat, Berrettini was blinking as if trying to clear his eyes. The 6’5” Italian looked a little dazed as he sat down. The tournament physician came on court and took his blood pressure.

As Berrettini took tablets from the doctor, Murray was pacing behind the baseline waiting to resume play.

The former No. 1 served out the second set and took a glance at his opponent as the pair departed the stadium court for a clothing change.

In a 12-minute game that opened the final set, Berrettini was going big on second serves and often striding slowly between points. Murray kept turning up the pressure.

On his fourth break point, Murray dragged a running forehand error breaking to start the decider.

The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion cruised through a love hold to consolidate for 2-0.

Credit Berrettini for continuing to battle.

The former world No. 6 fought off two break points holding for 2-3 then earned triple break point in the next game.

Digging in, Murray denied all three break points earning a hard-fought hold for 4-2.

On match point, Murray slid his signature shot, the backhand, down the line to close in two hours, 48 minutes.

The victory vaults Murray into a second-round meeting vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The 30th-ranked Argentinean has won two of three meetings against Murray, including scoring a routine 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 sweep at the Australian Open last January.

Murray, who lost to Etcheverry in three sets in Basel last October, is bidding to score back-to-back wins at the same tournament for the first time since Toronto last August. 


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