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Andy Murray (Great Britain, 172 ATP) and Francis Tiafoe (USA, 48th ATP) faced each other in the first round of the ATP 250 Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. The Brit got a college ticket to the party, the American wasn’t a seed.
‘I feel like my body is too old’
Tuesday’s match was great. All three sets lasted over an hour, and the entire match lasted three hours and 46 minutes. It was the longest-running ATP tennis match of the year in the formula and played two winning combinations. All three matches were settled by tie breaks. So far, Spain’s Rafael Nadal (5th ATP) and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd ATP) have played the longest playing of the season in the final of the tournament on clay in Barcelona. He won after 6:4, 6:7 (6), 7:5 after a match that lasted three hours and 40 minutes.
In Antwerp, Murray won the first set. In the second half, the Briton had a 3-1 lead in the tiebreak, but has since lost five straight shares. After a moment, he led to a tie 6:6 and 7:7, but it was Tiafoe who won 9:7. In the deciding match, Tiafoe had two identical balls but missed them. Murray took his second chance. In decisive action he showed a beautiful brevity. Tiafoe ran to him, but he only played the ball on the net.
– It was a great game. Never in my career have I played a three-set match that would have ended with three breaks. It’s actually the longest game I’ve played like this. I’m tired because there’s an incredible fight behind me. I don’t mind playing long matches, but it’s nice to have a day off now because my body looks so old – Murray said after a game where he had 21 aces (opponent 8).
In the 1/8 finals, the Briton faces another difficult task. He will face the second seed in the tournament, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman (ATP 13).
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