Former world number one men’s singles player Andy Murray turned the clock back on Tuesday as he rallied from two set down to win his first round match against Japanese youngster Yoshihito Nishioka at the ongoing US Open.
After 49th-ranked Nishioka won the first two sets, Murray scripted an incredible comeback to take home the next three sets. Murray, a wild-card entrant into this year’s US Open, won the 4 hours and 39 minute encounter 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Murray’s comeback into Grand Slam tennis appeared to be heading for a disappointment after he lost the first two sets and went down 1-3 in the third set as well. But like he has done throughout his career, the 33-year-old dug deep and brought out his very best defensive play when it mattered the most.
Saving match points and in both the third and fourth set, Murray snatched victory out of Nishioka’s jaw. The former US Open champion won both the sets on tie-breaker to get the match on equal terms. He will now face 15th seed Canadian Felix Auger-Allassime in the second round.
What had reared its head in the final moments of the fourth set came out in the open in the decider as Murray took an aggressive approach to push Nishioka on the back foot.
Even though a double fault had from the Scot had allowed Nishioka to go up, Murray broke soon after to bring the final set in a 3-3 level. Murray broke Japan’s second best singles player again to serve for the match afterwards.
Murrray, who missed the US Open in 2017 and 2019 through injury, had seriously considered retiring from the game after the 2019 Australian Open.
But after undergoing one of the major surgeries of his career, the former Wimbledon Champion marked his return to the tour in August last year in the Cincinnati Open, where he lost in the first round. Apart from this, he also played at seven other tournaments — including the Davis Cup in Spain last month — to finish the year with an 11-7 win-loss record.
He won his first singles title since 2017 at Antwerp in October 2019 in the European Open beating Stan Wawrinka. But his joy did not last long as he was forced to go out for another three months due to injury which cost him his participation in this year’s Australian Open.
Meanwhile, world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic defeated Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in another first-round match of the day.