Andy Murray comes from a set down and then a break down in the deciding set to defeat Taro Daniel in Indian Wells; it’s a second win from three matches against the Japanese player this year to set up a second-round clash against Alexander Bublik on Sunday
Last Updated: 11/03/22 9:40pm
Andy Murray claimed a milestone 700th career match win at Indian Wells on Friday after battling back to defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel in their third meeting of the year.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who has announced he will begin working with Ivan Lendl for a third time in the lead-up to Wimbledon, turned the tide after losing the first set to come through 1-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round.
Murray’s major career milestone is a feat already achieved by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
List of active ATP players for career wins
1. Roger Federer – 1,251
2. Rafael Nadal – 1,043
3. Novak Djokovic – 991
4. Andy Murray – 700
Daniel has a liking to the surface in the California desert having shocked former world No 1 Novak Djokovic for the biggest win of his career in 2018.
The Japanese world No 106 hit 10 winners and made just three unforced errors as he outclassed Murray – breaking him twice – and dominating the court to win the opening set in 29 minutes.
Having already beaten the Scot in straight sets at the Australian Open, Daniel was looking good for a repeat in a match which was rich in quality.
The Brit who won’t quit 👏#IndianWells | @andy_murray pic.twitter.com/ViPdZ6R2Bp
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 11, 2022
Murray, who gained revenge just a couple of weeks later at the Qatar Open, found his rhythm and an extra bit of pace in his first serve and groundstrokes to establish a comfortable 5-0 lead in the second set.
Daniel pulled a couple of games back to add a bit of respectability to the scoreline before the 34-year-old broke again to seal the set.
But just when Murray looked to have the momentum, qualifier Daniel recaptured his earlier form to break Murray’s serve in the opening game of their deciding-set shootout. However, the Scot struck back to level at 3-3.
Murray has pledged to donate his prize money for the rest of the year to help children affected by the war in Ukraine, and cheered on by the Centre Court crowd, the world No 88 sealed a famous win with a break of serve in the 10th game on his third match point.
He will play Alexander Bublik in the second round on Sunday.
Incredible milestone achieved at #IndianWells 🌴
Give it up for @andy_murray 🙌#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/BK5YzXcD2Z
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) March 11, 2022
Kyrgios feeling ‘fresh’ again after opening win
Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios, now ranked down at 132, is also competing for the first time since the Australian Open and he was a confident 6-4 6-0 winner over Argentina’s Sebastian Baez.
Following his win, Kyrgios told the Indian Wells website that for the first time in a long time he is feeling mentally and physically fit.
“I’m just in a different mindset,” said Kyrgios. “I feel like I’m a bit younger mentally, I feel fresh again, and obviously I’m healthy again with my left knee – I feel like I’m playing some pretty good tennis.”
Rafael Nadal will bid to continue his unbeaten start to the season against young American Sebastian Korda on Saturday.
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Source : Sky Sports