Shattered Andy Murray battles until 4am to win five-set Australian Open thriller

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    Andy Murray came back from two sets down at the Australian Open to beat in a near six-hour long slug-fest.

    The Scottish tennis icon, 35, looked to be set for an early round two exit against his Australian rival at the Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne. Murray went two sets down but stayed in the fight as the match lingered on until 4am local time.

    He showed incredible heart, coming back to win the third set in a tie-break before clinching the fourth 6-3. And he finally defeated Kokkinakis in a dramatic 7-5 fifth, much to the delight of the severely sleep-deprived crowd.

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    It marked an enormous physical effort on Murray's part, having had to go through a gruelling five-setter against Matteo Berrettini in round one on Tuesday. While the atmosphere grew less passionate due to the stands gradually clearing in the early hours of Friday, it was by no means a reflection of the tennis on show.

    Kokkinakis took the opening set 6-4. And after falling behind in the second set, three-time Grand Slam winner Murray broke his opponent's serve to bring the score to 5-5.

    But Murray's forehand into the net prompted a tie-break, where he was made to pay as the Aussie made his home advantage count. And the third set would throw up even more drama.

    With the game Kokkinakis' to lose, Murray forced the set into a tie-break. The Brit was able to claim a 7-5 win after the Aussie hit his shot well wide to take the match into a fourth set.

    Murray transformed the match by being more aggressive in the fourth. After the first three games lasted 34 minutes, he broke to lead 4-2 and needed to save a sixth break point of the set at 5-3, before finally wrapping up the 70-minute set with an ace.

    Kokkinakis saved four break points at 3-3 in the fifth set, and three at 5-5 before Murray made the break with an inside-out forehand winner. Murray took his first match point with a forehand winner.

    The match lasted a whopping five hours and 45 minutes – the longest match Murray had played previously was five hours seven minutes. And his on-court interview showed his relief.

    Murray said: "I don't know. Unbelievable that I managed to turn that round. Thanasi was serving unbelievable. I don't know how I managed to get through it. Yeah, I have a big heart.

    “Thanks so much to everyone for staying. It’s ridiculously late … it helps me and Thanassi when we have you creating an atmosphere.”


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