Andy Murray sealed his biggest win this season by defeating eighth seeded Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the China Open 2019 in Beijing on Monday.
Murray won in two tight tie-breakers, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) against the US Open semi-finalist to set up a second round match against fellow Britisher Cameron Norrie.
The former world number one had gone into the tournament with tempered expectations, noting he would find it difficult to compete given his current levels of tennis. And a tough draw would have made it more difficult for him to have a lot of hopes of going deeper into the China Open this year.
And when he fell a break behind in the fifth game of the first set, the writing looked to be on the wall. Serving to stay in the set at 3-5, Murray changed things around with a solid service game and then broke Berrettini in the very next game to level things off at 5-5.
Berrettini proved to be no match for a now resurgent-Murray in the opening tie-breaker, losing it 7-2.
The Italian carved out an early break in the second set as well, but Murray broke back to level things off at 2-2. The Brit then saved four break-points to make it 3-3, after which things went on serve.
Murray took the early command in the second set tie-breaker, with a 4-2 lead but Berrettini levelled it at 5-5. For the first time then the Italian world number 13 took the lead by winning the 11th point to earn his first set-point but Murray made it six apiece. Another set-point followed but Murray grabbed the next two points and completed the victory off his very first match-point.
Murray’s second round opponent, Norrie, won his first round match against Cristian Garin after qualifying for the tournament main draw through a couple of qualifier victories. Norrie was one set up when his opponent retired from the match.