Another week, another Andy Murray comeback win in 2023. Murray is continuing to produce more drama as he picked up from where he had left at the Australian Open.
The British star showed trademark resilience when he saved three match points and then bounced back from 0-3 in a sudden death tiebreak to rally past Lorenzo Sonego 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 in the first round of the Qatar Open. Murray is making comebacks his trademark this season as he battled back from a set down yet again in his first match since the Australian Open. Murray will now face Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 tomorrow as he bids to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the season.
Murray saved the match points from 4-5, 15/40 on his own serve in the deciding set and then fell behind 0/3 in the deciding tie-break. The 35-year-old British player raised his level of play from there, winning seven of the final eight points to clinch a remarkable win in a two-hour, 30-minute battle. It was the second tournament in a row where Murray’s first-round match was settled by a deciding-set tie-break.
A slow start from Murray made him trail in the first set after Sonego broke the Briton to love in the first game. The 27-year-old Italian produced a brilliant play to move ahead without any further break points. But Murray struck back in style in the second set, racing to a 5-0 lead that proved unassailable by staying aggressive and striking cleanly off both wings from the baseline.
The tension-filled deciding set appeared to be on the racquet of Sonego as he dominated the Briton with some huge groundstrokes. The Italian continued to deliver his best and at one stage won 13 points in a row on serve. However, Murray never looked down or lost hope, and kept fighting to turn the waves and finally succeeded.
Monday’s win means Murray, who is a four-time finalist in Doha and lifted the trophy in 2008 and 2009, is now 7-0 in opening-round matches at the outdoor hard-court event. After sealing the win, Murray said it was really tough and it took a while to get used to his opponent’s game. The Briton confessed that Sonego was very aggressive, took a lot of chances, and played high-risk tennis. He rolled the dice at the end but made a couple of mistakes and I managed to turn it around, concluded Murray.