Basel | Murray gets through tough opener.

The former world No.1 Andy Murray had to battle for two-hours and 18-minutes to secure a straight-sets win in his opening round match at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, an ATP 500 level event.

The 36-year-old Scot battled through a hotly contested match against Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann to eventually defeat him 7-5 6-4 to progress into round two having post his 498th hardcourt win on the Tour.

Murray faces Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry next and if successful, has the prospect of possibly meeting the top seeded Dane, Holger Rune, in the quarter finals. Wins over those two would bring his tally to 500 wins on the Tour and join an elite group – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Rafa Nadal – who are the only other players in the Open Eran to have won 500 matches on hardcourts.

Murray started well and raced to a 40-0 lead but took his time to wrap up the opening game, needing nine minutes to close it out.

He found his 31-year-old opponent stubborn, and it took him nearly 30-minutes before he established a 2-1 lead by holding his serve.

Hanfmann levelled matters at 2-2 before Murray once again took the lead for 4-2 and began to pull away only for Hanfmann to bounce back and level at 5-all.

With the match passing the hour mark Murray took the next two games to finally claim the opening set after 84-minutes

Murray failed to serve out at 5-3 but quickly recovered to settle the issue at the next opportunity and end a three-match losing streak.

His next opponent, Etcheverry beat eighth seed Sebastian Korda 6-3 1-6 6-3 and is the only seed to fall at this early stage with Rune (1) eventually taking out the Serbian, Miomir Kecmanovic 1-6 7-5 6-3, Australia’s Alex de Minaur, (5) defeating Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz beating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 7-6(2) 6-4 and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry (7) coming through with a gruelling 7-6(6) 6-7(2) 6-2 scoreline.

Still to play are Taylor Fritz (3), Felix Auger Aliassime (6) and Casper Ruud (2).



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