Murray beat Kokkinakis after 4am at the Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Clock time has shifted from midday to morning, afternoon from Thursday to Friday, and Andy Murray by no means hesitated, by no means gave in, although he confronted a double gap in Australian Openregardless of being 35 years outdated and having a man-made hip, although it was the longest and final ending match of his lengthy, illustrious profession.

His rationalization was easy: “I have a big heart.”

Three-time world champion and 26-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis stared at one another in exhaustion for five hours and 45 minutes of thrilling theater within the second spherical of the competitors in Melbourne Park till Murray got here out 4-6, 6-. 7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 win ending just a little after 4am

“The match was obviously very excited. There was disappointment. There was tension. There was excitement and all that,” Murray advised reporters gathered within the stadium foyer after his eleventh profession comeback when he received two units, probably the most by any energetic participant.

“I mean, look, it’s definitely great to win a match,” he continued with a chuckle, “but I also want to go to bed now. It’s great. But I want to sleep.”

How tight was it? Murray scored 196 points, Kokkinakis – 192. How high was the quality of the game? They combined 171 winners and just 107 unforced errors in the cold, with temperatures falling below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), delighting hundreds of enthusiastic and loud spectators who remained in the blue seats.

They waved their flags and cheered raucously, admiring the great effort and skill displayed by both men. No matter who people rooted for, they were sure to leave with an interesting story.

“Surprisingly, people stayed to the end,” mentioned Murray, who received the US Open in 2012, Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and a five-time Australian Open finalist. “I really appreciate the people who do this and create an atmosphere for us.”

He was understandably dissatisfied with the circumstances and the late hour.

“I don’t know who benefits from this,” Murray said. “In a match like this, we come right here after the match and that is what’s being mentioned: as an alternative of being an ‘epic Murray-Kokkinakis’ match, it finally ends up being one thing of a farce.”

For some reason, this was not the last finish in the history of the Australian Open. The 2008 tournament match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis ended at 4:34 am, a record for any helmet.

It was Murray’s second five-set set in a row: he hit a no. Matteo Berrettini with number 13 on Tuesday. Kokkinakis is ranked 159th and has never made it past the third round in a Grand Slam tournament.

He could have ended the game much earlier, winning two sets and breaking away in the third. But at 2-0, 40-all, the chair umpire cited him for taking too much time before the serve and let it get to him.

First, Kokkinakis lost the bet, then lost concentration, broke down there and destroyed his racket, nailing it on the court.

However, he was serving for a 5-3 match in that set and was two points away from winning before being pulled by Murray when Kokkinakis dropped a volley to concede an eventual tie-break.

In the fourth, Murray was the aggressor and never seemed exhausted, at one point waving his arms and even jumping up and down to set his supporters on fire. His mother, Judy, repeatedly got to her feet to clap and scream; his coach Ivan Lendl did not sit still.

When Murray aced the second serve at 2:59, more than 4.5 hours into the game, he won the fourth set and forced a fifth. He was angry that the judge in the chair wouldn’t let him take a late toilet break, saying afterwards, “It’s 3am and I’ve been ingesting all day.”

That last set was, accordingly, exactly as far as it is possible for 10 games. There were zero service breaks until Murray finally converted his eighth chance of this set with a game-winning right hand to take a 6-5 lead. He walked gravely to the sideline, shaking his neon racket.

All that was left to do was serve, and Murray managed to do it, ending a long day of the evening with a winning backhand. Meeting Kokkinakis at the hug net, Murray screamed.


AP tennis: and

Source by