Andy Murray digs deep to beat Matteo Berrettini at Miami Open after scolding himself | Tennis | Sport

Andy Murray outlasted Matteo Berrettini to advance to the second round of the Miami Open. The Brit dug deep to come from a set down, winning 4-6 6-3 6-4 in a physical encounter that saw Berrettini almost faint on the court. Murray scolded and shouted at himself throughout the match but it paid off as he channelled his frustrations to earn just his fourth win of the year.

When the draw came out, everyone circled the blockbuster first-round encounter between Murray and Berrettini. It was their sixth meeting but their first since Murray won a five-set epic at the 2023 Australian Open. And their Miami Open match became another test of endurance.

While Murray had a tough start to the year going 3-7 in matches, Berrettini was coming back from an injury layoff. The former world No. 6 reached last week’s Phoenix Challenger final in his first tournament since the US Open in August and he carried his momentum straight back onto the main ATP Tour, breaking Murray in the first game.

The three-time Major winner grew frustrated as he blew a couple of break-back points and found himself facing another break point in the next game. A dejected Murray quickly started to voice his frustrations – something that has been a feature of his matches in recent months.

During the Middle Eastern swing he was heard berating his tactics and claiming “this game isn’t for me anymore”. And he was at it again in a tricky service game, shouting “it doesn’t work”. He managed to keep his deficit to just one break and Berrettini closed out the opener 6-4.

It was a better start for Murray in the second but he continued to shout, this time trying to coach himself. The former world No. 1 repeated the same mantra over and over, telling himself to “feel the ball” and “touch the ball”, claiming that he had been “belting it around”. It did the trick, and he suddenly started to raise his level, earning his first break of the match to lead 4-2.

While serving to stay in the match a game later, Berrettini suddenly began to struggle and had to stop himself from fainting as he doubled over on the court. He stopped playing and called the physio before resuming four minutes later. He was able to hold to love but Murray served out the set to force a decider.

The final set alone was a gruelling physical battle, as the first game alone lasted more than 12 minutes as Murray broke his opponent immediately. The world No. 142 continued to struggle, keeling over after long exchanges and trudging to his bench. But he stayed hot on Murray’s heels, saving two more break points before having two of his own.

Even in the lead, the Brit continued to vent his frustrations, shouting: “Lots of pressure being put on me, lots of it.” But he held on to maintain his lead, letting out a huge roar. He finally completed the comeback, serving out the victory after two hours and 47 minutes on court.

Murray was quick to check on his opponent, asking if he was okay after the second set scare. “It’s good to see you back,” the world No. 62 added, referencing Berrettini’s lengthy injury hiatus.

The 36-year-old recently announced that he would stop playing after this summer but he silenced those who were writing him off too early with a cheeky camera message. “Life in the old dog yet,” he penned. Murray will now face No. 29 seed Tomas Etcheverry, the man who beat him at the Australian Open.

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