Former world No. 1 Andy Murray described his clash against Nikoloz Basilashvili as “unbelievably tough.”
Murray, who received a wildcard into Sydney, recovered from a set down to beat world No. 23 Basilashvili 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 6-3.
“It was an unbelievably tough match,” Murray said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website. “He is hitting the ball consistently bigger than anyone on the Tour. I was having to do a lot of defending and running but my legs stood up well and at the end I served really well in the last set.”
Murray figured out he needed to serve a bit bigger because Basilashvili was putting lots of pressure during the rallies.
“I got a lot of free points on my serve,” Murray said. “When we were in the rallies, it was more on his terms, so I tried to serve a little bit bigger and thankfully they went in. When he was serving, I tried to take time away from him and rush him and I hit some better returns.”
Murray claimed a comeback win
Murray was serving for the first set in the ninth game but Basilashvili broke back to reduce the deficit to 5-4.
Basilashvili then saved a set point in the 10th game, realizing his first set point in the tie-break to steal the opener.
After losing the first set, Murray responded well as he broke Basilashvili in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead.
Murray blew three set points on his serve in the 10th game as Basilashvili managed to force a tie-break.
Basilashvili’s bid to steal the second set as well fell short as Murray realized his fifth set point in the tie-break to force a decider.
After winning a tight second set, Murray started the third set with a 3-0 lead.
This time, Murray held on to his serve the rest of the set to complete a comeback win.
Murray plays next Belgian David Goffin.