(Tennis news) In an epic battle that lasted three hours and 45 minutes, Andy Murray defeated Frances Tiafoe at the European Open in Antwerp 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8). The two time Wimbledon champion had previously lost to Tiafoe last August at the Winston-Salem Open but there were no hard feelings between the two fierce competitors as Murray applauded his opponent off the court after saving two match points.
In an on-court interview, Murray said “I don't think I've played a match like that. I think it's the longest three-set match that I've ever played by quite a distance. I'm tired right now. It was an unbelievable battle. He kept coming up with brilliant serves and great shots when I was getting chances. My body is old now, I've played a lot of matches on the tour so I don't mind playing long matches but that was taking it to another level.”
The European Open was the first trophy Andy Murray won two years ago after his hip surgery and will undoubtedly hope for a similar outcome this time around. At the age of 34, it’s safe to say that Murray is not at the physical prime of his life and will need to recover quickly as he will be facing second seed Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.
The first set took 78 minutes in which Murray found himself 1-2, 5-6 and a set point down before succeeding at the tie-break. The second set took a mammoth one hour and 21 minutes which eventually went to Frances Tiafoe who took the opportunity at his sixth attempt to wrap it up with a forehand half volley. The decider was inevitably settled in a final-set tie-break in which Tiafoe failed to capitalize on two match points and Murray took advantage with a magnificent drop shot.
In other results, Jenson Brooksby defeated fifth seed Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4 while Brandon Nakashima won 6-4, 6-0 against sixth seed Alex de Minaur.