World No 14 Matteo Berrettini admitted that it was devastating to lose in such a way to Andy Murray but noted that he deeply respects the Briton's inspiring story. Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, clinched his first big Grand Slam win since 2017 after beating Berrettini 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7) 7-6 (6).
In the fifth set, Berrettini had a match point and Murray on the ropes when he sent an easy backhand shot into the net.
"I had a match point.
Just it's really tough to talk about the match now. Could have been, you know, different just with a different ball. Last year I won 7-6 in the fifth. This year I lost 7-6 in the fifth. It's just tennis," Berrettini said after the loss, per Luca Fiorino.
Murray, who sustained a major hip injury in 2017, had two major hip surgeries but refused to simply quit and walk away from tennis.
Matteo Berrettini ð®ð¹ ð
"I had a matchpoint. Just it's really tough to talk about the match now. Could have been, you know, different just with a different ball.
"It's impressive what he could do after so many surgeries, after all the kilometers that he ran in his career. It's impressive. It just shows how much he loves the game, how much he loves these kind of matches," Berrettini added.
Matteo #Berrettini about #Murray
"It's impressive what he could do after so many surgeries, after all the kilometers that he ran in his career. It's impressive. It just shows how much he loves the game, how much he loves these kind of matches"#AustralianOpen — Luca Fiorino (@FiorinoLuca) January 17, 2023
Berrettini lost a thriller to Murray
Murray got off to a great start to the match, breaking Berrettini in the second game and then holding his serve for the rest of the set to win the opener.
In the second set, Murray broke Berrettini in the first and ninth games to go up by two sets. After saving two break points in the fourth game of the third set, Berrettini earned his first break of the match in the fifth game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a fourth set.
As no breaks were seen in the fourth set - the set had to be resolved in a tie-break - where Berrettini realized his third set point to force a decider. After missing out on a match point on Murray's serve in the 10th game of the fifth set, Berrettini fell down to a 5-0 deficit in the fifth-set tie-break.
Berrettini managed to cut the deficit to 8-6 (the first to 10 points wins the Australian Open fifth-set tie-break) but Murray won the next two points to complete his big five-set win.