Former world No. 1 Andy Murray admitted he felt absolutely tired after an epic five-set first round clash at the US Open. Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, came from two sets down to edge out Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6 4-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4) 6-4 in his opener at the US Open.
Murray, who was playing his first Grand Slam singles match since the 2019 Australian Open, claimed a win over Nishioka after four hours and 38 minutes of play. "I'm tired. My big toes on both sides are pretty beat up," Murray said post-match, per Sky Sports.
Murray, who made a comeback to tennis in the summer of 2019 after undergoing two hip surgeries, admitted he tried to preserve his freshness but went all in after falling down by two sets. "But I did all right. At the start I was apprehensive about playing a long match and I was pacing myself, like you do in juniors.
But once I was two sets down I had to put the afterburners on," Murray said. "I had to start striking the ball better. I was a bit tentative. Then I went the other way of taking chances and making errors. But towards the end I started to get the balance right."
Murray was desperate for an ice bath
After edging out Nishioka in a thrilling way to set up a second round clash against rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime, Murray said he absolutely needed an ice bath. "They have an ice bath in the locker room only for emergencies, but for me this is an emergency!
That's by far the most tennis I've played since 2019 so I need to recover well," Murray said. After claiming the first break of the match in the seventh game, Nishioka had no problems serving out for the opener in the 10th game.
The Japanese then made a great start to the second set as he got off to a quick 4-0 lead, before he served out for the set in the 10th game. Murray lost his serve in the opening game of the third set but worked his way back into the set and eventually won it in a tie-break.
In the 12th game of the fourth set, Murray saved a set point to force a tie-break -- which he won to force a decider. Murray broke Nishioka in the 10th game of the fifth set to complete a comeback win.