Alex de Minaur has continued his brilliant hard court form in 2023 having defeated Andy Murray for a fifth consecutive time, which eclipses some tennis legends. De Minaur completed a remarkable comeback after saving three match points in a brilliant match to win 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 at the China Open.
At one stage, Murray became so frustrated with his own performance he received a code violation for, rather uncharacteristically, hurling his racquet down three times in the same game when losing the plot in the second set.
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Murray obliterated his racquet at one stage of the match, which also saw him throw it a number of times in the decider. Murray held a comfortable 5-2 lead in the third set, but the Aussie showed his tenacity and clawed his way back into the contest to take it to a tiebreak.
The Australian used his rival's frustration to win the tiebreaker and defeat Murray after nearly three hours. Murray was clearly frustrated after the match as he appeared to tell the camera person to 'move' as he guided the camera away from him. While the Scot was fuming, de Minaur would have been thrilled having won his fifth consecutive match against the three-time grand slam winner.
Only four players have ever managed to defeat Murray four times in a row. Those names include Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, none of them have achieved the feat five times.
While Murray is in the twilight of his illustrious career, the feat is still impressive considering how well the Scot has been playing tennis in 2023. The tennis world was full of praise for de Minaur having won a thriller against the tennis great. Others were stunned at Murray losing his composure and throwing so many racquets during the match.
Alex De Minaur d. Andy Murray 6-3 5-7 7-6
Alex saved 3 match points & came back from 2-5 in the 3rd set.
He is now 5-0 against Andy.
Demon will be visiting Andy in his nightmares tonight. pic.twitter.com/Z8t6xJHxsi
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 28, 2023
De Minaur wins a huge clash against Murray!
Trailing 5-2 down, Alex De Minaur saved 3 MP to defeat Andy 6-3 5-7 7-6 and reach Beijing 2nd round
Too bad Andy who could have beaten his first Top 20 since February... pic.twitter.com/4mv8UZUqes
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 28, 2023
Gritty Andy Murray has come back from #tennis trouble plenty of times, but the script gets flipped in Beijing. Murray can't hold a 5-2 lead in 3d set or convert any of his 3 match points
Alex de Minaur, who has had a fine few months, advances to the round 6-3 5-7 7-6 (6)#getty pic.twitter.com/DmzyUS8USJ
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) September 28, 2023
Cannot believe Andy lost thst match. So disappointed that he didn't close it out before the tie break. Never seen him smash his racquet so much.
He definitely could have won today
— Pollyg (@Paula26658131) September 28, 2023
De Minaur thrilled after China Open epic
During his interview after the near three-hour battle, de Minaur admitted he was just as shocked to how he escaped a brutal loss. "I really don't know," the World No.12 said. "It wasn't pretty but I'm very happy I was able to win."
De Minaur admitted he didn't think either player was at their best level today, but was happy to come away with a much needed victory. "I think we probably both didn't bring our best level today so it's an absolutely scrap fest, but I'm happy I was able to get my first win, probably in a very, very long time, where I've saved some match points," de Minaur added.
"More than anything, it's probably down to my attitude. I kind of kept my head screwed on and just told myself to keep trying, keep trying and keep backing myself. And eventually I was going to find my level, and I'm very happy I was able to turn that around."
Every win is crucial for de Minaur after the US Open with the Aussie currently sitting in 11th place in the 'Race to Turin', which will take place later this year. De Minaur needs to make the top eight to qualify for the first time.
Asked if he felt this could turn out to be a significant result, he smiled: "Yeah, I mean, I bloody hope so, tell you that! For now, I'm going to try to switch off from a very dramatic match and look forward to the next one."
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