Andy Murray made fun of his lengthy matches after needing two hours and 20 minutes to beat Yannick Hanfmann in straight sets. The Brit came through a “ridiculous” opening match at the Swiss Indoors Basel on Monday. And he joked that an 83-minute set was “nothing” after his 7-5 6-4 marathon.
Murray has earned himself a reputation for playing lengthy matches this year, usually being dragged to a final set and getting embroiled in endless deuce games. He kept it up at the Swiss Indoors, where the score was still only 2-1 after half an hour and 3-2 following 45 minutes of play when he faced Hanfmann in the first round.
The world No 40 ensured that the first set wasn’t an easy one after leading 5-2 as he was broken while serving for it and eventually closed it out 7-5 after 85 minutes. And Murray joked about his reputation after seeing another set go the distance, with Zhu Lin needing 83 minutes to edge Veronika Kudermetova 7-6(5) in a tiebreak at the Zhuhai Elite Trophy.
“Andy Murray is that you?” tennis journalist Jose Morgado tweeted alongside a screenshot of the lengthy first set. But the 36-year-old thought they didn’t come close to his own antics. “83 minutes for a 7-6 set is nothing Jose come on! come back to me when they hit 85 minutes for a set,” he replied.
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It comes after Murray claimed it was “ridiculous” to spend 45 minutes playing the first five games of his match against Hanfmann. Speaking after he notched a win over the German, Murray said: “It was tough.
“The first four or five games were something like 45 minutes. I don’t remember having that really before, it was ridiculous. And then had a chance at the end of the first set, didn’t get it and just managed to sneak a break at the end.”
The three-time Grand Slam champion will be hoping to keep things short and sweet when he faces Tomas Etcheverry with a quarter-final spot on the line. But in true Murray fashion, he could be dragged into another dogfight.
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Murray cemented his status as a marathon man at the very start of the year, winning two dramatic five-setters at the Australian Open. After leading 13th seed Matteo Berrettini by two sets, the Italian stormed back to force a decider that Murray won. In the second round, he came from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in a five-hour and 45-minute match that lasted until 4.05am.
A few weeks later in Doha, Murray played four deciding-set matches to reach the final, saving three match points in his first-round match and five more in the semi-final. He will be hoping to reach his first ATP Tour final since his dramatic Doha run at this week’s Swiss Indoors.
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