Miami | Murray and Draper get off the mark

The opening day of the men’s draw at this year’s Miami Masters saw both Brits in action, progress into round two with Andy Murray claiming his fourth win of the season and Jack Draper his ninth.

I stayed tough there and played some good points, moved well, and dictated a lot of the match, which isn’t easy against him Andy Murray

Murray required nearly three hours to defeat Matteo Berrettini in a dramatic three setter while earlier in the day, Draper cruised comfortably past Taro Daniel in just 69-minutes.

The 36-year-old Murray, a former two=time champion of Miami, rallied from a set down to defeat the Italian nine years his junior, 4-6 6-3 6-4 with occasional flashes of the tennis which took him to the top of the rankings before his hip operation.

Foe Berrettini, playing his first match on the senior Tour since last year’s US Open when he took out Murray in a thrilling five setter, it was a relief to finally be back where he belongs following two years of injury disruptions.

However, the big hitting Italian required medical attention towards the end of the second set when, as he prepared to deliver a second serve, he seemed to lose his balance, falling to his right before he managed to prevent himself crashing to the ground. Looking dazed he was escorted to his chair and after the tournament doctor has taken his blood pressure and given him some pills, he returned to the match. No explanation as yet as to what the problem was.

Matteo Berrettini gets treatment in second set

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Two games prior to the incident, Murray had finally broken the Berrettini serve at his third attempt and was leading 5-2, pocketing the second set two games later.

With both players serving well and dropping their serve just the once – Murray in the opening game of the match – the final outcome was poised to swing either way in the third deciding set.

A quick start was required, and Murray succeeded in a long 12-minute opening game on his fourth break point, and then holding comfortably to go 2-0 up.

Berrettini fought back but found himself under pressure in the fifth game which went to four deuces in which he saved a break point.

It was Berrettini’s turn in the next game where his returns found their mark and Murray teetered on 0-40 but his serving pulled him out of trouble.

By now Murray looked relatively comfortable in his game and was observed chuckling at his own errors but he was forced to complain to the umpire about on court distractions – the glare of some adverts and the positioning of the Spidercam – as he pulled ahead for 5-3.

Two games later he sealed his win on his second match point to secure a very satisfying victory after-two hours and 47-minutes.

Before leaving the court, he wrote on the camera lens ‘life in the old dog yet’ as a cheeky reminder to his doubters pushing for his retirement!

Murray, who hit 28 winners, explained to his former mixed doubles partner Laura Robson, with whom he won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics, why he was laughing and chuckling during points, and, referring to accusations that he always looks unhappy on court, he pointed out: “You were saying I need to be happier on the court in the interview beforehand – so if I’m laughing, that’s not OK, if I’m shouting, that’s not OK, if I’m flat like I was in Australia, that’s not OK. It’s very hard for me to get the balance right.

“I’m very different on the tennis court. I’m not a robot. I’m a bit odd, a bit strange. But I play better when I’m like that.”

Asked if it was his biggest win of the season so far, Murray said: “I played well at the first tournament of the year in Brisbane, I felt good.

“The first match last week [a win over David Goffin] was better as well.

“But in terms of the way I played in the important moments in that match, I did a good job. I was down 0-40 at the end, I think it was a 3-2 game, and I also created quite a lot of chances to go up a double break.

“I stayed tough there and played some good points, moved well, and dictated a lot of the match, which isn’t easy against him.”

Next up for the three-time grand slam champion is the 26th seed from Argentina, Tomas Martin Etcheverry who had a first-round bye.

Jack Draper leads the British campaign in Miami

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Also through to round two is Jack Draper who met little resistance from Taro Daniel posting a 6-3 6-2 win over the Japanese world No.78.

The 22-year-old hit 10 aces, 22 winners and didn’t face a single break point in a confident straight-sets victory to set up a meeting with the 22nd seed from Chile, Nicolas Jarry.

Draper has had an up-and-down season so far, enjoying impressive runs to the final in Adelaide and the semi-final in Acapulco, but suffering early exits at the Australian Open, Los Cabos and Indian Wells.

Draper’s big serve got him off to a good start as he lost just two points in his opening three service games, landing two aces in the process.

But Daniel kept pace with him until game six, where Draper earned a couple break points, taking the first for a 4-2 lead and closing out the first set after 36-minutes.

Daniel double-faulted to hand Draper a break point in the opening game of the second set but managed to hold onto his serve.

But any resistance finally evaporated in the fourth game as Draper blasted another coupe of aces to go 3-1 up as he steamrolled to way the finishing line after a solid, confidence building performance.

Elsewhere, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, a Miami semi-finalist in 2019, overcame Italy’s Luciano Darderi 6-3 6-7(3) 6-4 to earn a meeting with 10th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

There were also wins for Frenchman Luca van Asche and Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp over Pavel Kotov and Rinky Hijikata respectively.

Van Assche will face seventh seed Casper Ruud of Norway in the second round, while Van de Zandschulp is up against No. 14 seed Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics progressed with a 6-2 6-1 win over Australian Max Purcell to meet third seed Daniil Medvedev, while Australia’s Christopher O’Connell downed qualifier Vit Kopriva 6-2 6-4.



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