andy murray is into the second round in Melbourne after defeating 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in five sets.
The game, which lasted almost five hours at Rod Laver Arena, saw the fifth set dragged into a tiebreaker in which Murray won 9-6.
Murray, a former world number 1, won the first two sets 6-3 6-3 before Berrettini returned to take sets three and four 6-4 7-6. The fourth was a knife-edge, but Berrettini remained composed and won a third set point at 8-7 to force a decider after three and a half hours.
Both players served well in the first nine games of the fifth set, with Murray needing to hold serve in the tenth game to take the game to a tiebreaker. Murray won the fifth set 7-6 and set up a match against Australian Thanasis Kokkinakis, who is ranked 110th in the world.
“I need to give myself some credit tonight because the last few years have been tough,” he said in an on-court interview.
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“I stayed strong and I deserved to win. I was impressed with myself, which, again, is not something as I’m usually hard on myself,” admitted the 35-year-old Scotsman.
It was a very close match, as reflected in the match statistics, as Murray won 166 points to Berrettini’s 161, though Berrettini displayed his powerful serve with 31 aces to Murray’s 10. But the Italian will be disappointed with his 59 unforced errors, which tipped the game in Murray’s favour.
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