2023 In Review: From Dusk till Dawn - Andy Murray edges Thanasi Kokkinakis

Andy Murray ousted Thanasi Kokkinakis after an incredible battle that went on until 4:05 am

by Jovica Ilic
2023 In Review: From Dusk till Dawn - Andy Murray edges Thanasi Kokkinakis
© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Margaret Court Arena staged an impressive battle in the second round of the Australian Open. Multiple finalist Andy Murray performed one of his career-best comebacks and defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 after five hours and 45 minutes!

Two rivals battled until 4:05 am, with four sets lasting over an hour! Andy came back from 5-2 down in the third set, surviving all the challenges and defeating the crowd favorite. Thanasi added 37 aces to his tally and finished the duel with 102 winners and 67 unforced errors.

The home star beat the Briton's 69-43 ratio, but it was not enough to emerge at the top despite a massive advantage. Nothing separated Murray and Kokkinakis in the shortest, mid-range and most advanced rallies, providing one of the tightest duels of the season.

Andy converted five out of 22 break points and lost serve four times, raising his level from the verge of defeat and celebrating in the early hours. Thanasi broke Andy in the encounter's fifth game and produced three fine holds for 6-4 after 52 minutes.

They served well until 4-4 in the second set before Murray sprayed a backhand error in the ninth game, losing serve and falling 5-4 behind. The Briton denied three set points on the return in the tenth game and pulled the break back after the Aussie's forehand mistake.

The set reached a tie break, and the home favorite fired an ace at 6-4 to forge two sets to love advantage, moving closer to the finish line.

Andy Murray defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis after five hours and 45 minutes!

They exchanged breaks in the third set's games two and three before Kokkinakis grabbed another at 3-2 to forge the advantage.

Trailing 5-2, Andy held in game eight and had one chance to extend the battle and avoid a straight-sets defeat. Thanasi served for the win at 5-3 but could not bring it home, experiencing a break and keeping Andy in contention.

They embraced the second consecutive tie break, with the home star standing two points away from the win at 5-5. Murray fired a service winner for 6-5 and clinched a set point after the rival's loose volley, reducing the overall deficit and staying alive after three and a half hours.

They needed 70 minutes to complete nine games in the fourth set. Andy broke in the sixth game and served for the set at 5-3 before facing two break points. The more experienced player denied them and landed an ace that introduced a decider after four hours and 38 minutes.

With little left in the tank, two warriors were about to embrace another one-hour set! After six good holds, Thanasi faced issues at 3-3, defending four break points and providing a notable hold that kept him on the positive side.

Kokkinakis stood two points away from the victory on the return at 5-4 before Murray held after deuce for more drama. Andy pushed strong on the return and seized the fourth break point with a forehand crosscourt winner, moving in front and serving for the triumph at 6-5.

The Briton painted a backhand down the line winner in the 12th game, celebrating another epic victory and moving over the top after 4 am.

Andy Murray Thanasi Kokkinakis