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Australian Open: Andy Murray holds off Matteo Berrettini to win five-set epic in Melbourne

Andy Murray continued his reign as the king of Australian Open fifth sets by defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7) 6-3 in an epic semifinal clash on Friday night.

Andy Murray continued his reign as the king of Australian Open fifth sets by defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7) 6-3 in an epic semifinal clash on Friday night.

Murray, who has won 11 ATP titles since returning from hip surgery, fought back from 0/30 down in the second set to earn a tiebreak. The Scot clinched it with an ace and then dominated the third set before Berrettini came out firing in the fourth.

The Italian won 18 out of 20 points on his forehand wing as he earned three break points but Murray held firm until a double fault gifted Berrettini another chance. A forehand return winner sealed victory for the world No 3 after four hours and six minutes on court at Rod Laver Arena

The British No.1 was pushed to the limit by his Italian opponent, who saved two match points at 5-4 in the fourth set before holding serve for 5-5. But Murray broke back immediately to level at 5-5, and then fought off two more match points in an enthralling tiebreak that went down to the wire.

Murray was under pressure throughout the match and was pushed to the limit by Berrettini, who saved two match points at 5-4 in the fourth set before holding serve for 5-5. But Murray broke back immediately to level at 5-5, and then fought off two more match points in an enthralling tiebreak that went down to the wire.

The British No 1 had broken his opponent’s serve three times during a gruelling encounter lasting almost four hours before finally clinching victory on his sixth attempt at 17 minutes past midnight local time (AEDT).

The Scot won 12 out of 17 points from 0/30 down to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead in sets, only for Berrettini to unfurl some sublime tennis in a dominant third set – winning 18 out of 20 points on his forehand wing to earn three break points that he took with ease en route to a 6/3 victory.

Murray won 12 out of 17 points from 0/30 down to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead in sets, only for Berrettini to unfurl some sublime tennis in a dominant third set – winning 18 out of 20 points on his forehand wing to earn three break points that he took with ease en route to a 6/3 victory.

The Scot had no answer as the Italian’s serve let him down at key moments, but he will be pleased with how he responded after losing his way following an early break in the fourth game.

But despite being under pressure once more in the decider with Berrettini leading 3-2, Murray showed why he has won 11 ATP titles since returning from hip surgery by saving four set points at 4-5 before breaking serve immediately after being gifted another point by Berrettini’s double fault.

Murray saved four set points at 4-5 before breaking serve immediately after being gifted another point by Berrettini’s double fault.

The Scot then held his nerve to win the next two games to seal victory and send down a warning shot ahead of his Australian Open title defence in Melbourne next week.

Murray said: “That was very difficult, especially playing him today because he’s so aggressive, like all Italians are Murray holds five-set in Melbourne.”

Conclusion

Andy Murray continued his reign as the king of Australian Open fifth sets by defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7) 6-3 in an epic semifinal clash on Friday night. The British No.1 was pushed to the limit by his Italian opponent, who saved two match points at 5-4 in the fourth set before holding serve for 5-5. But Murray broke back immediately to level at 5-5, and then fought off two more match points in an enthralling tiebreak that went down to the wire. The Scot won 12 out of 17 points from 0/30 down to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead in sets, only for Berrettini to unfurl some sublime tennis in a dominant third set – winning 18 out of 20 points on his forehand wing to earn three break points that he took with ease en route to a 6/3 victory

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