Following a tight victory over Matteo Berrettini in the first round, Andy Murray is through to the quarter-final of the ATP 500 event in Beijing, beating the fellow Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6, 6-7, 6-1. The first clash between compatriots lasted for two hours and 51 minutes, with nothing to separate them before Murray switched into a higher gear in the decider to march over the finish line and advance into the first quarter-final since Shenzhen last year.
Playing only seven ATP matches in 2019 before Beijing, the three-time Major champion started to struggle physically in the second part of the encounter, finding another boost of energy in the final set to move over the top and grab the fourth win of the season.
Defending the second serve nicely, Andy faced only three break points in the entire clash, losing serve twice and taking 42% of the return points to grab four breaks from 13 opportunities and cross the finish line first, hitting 39 winners and 31 unforced errors.
The match kicked off with seven great holds on both sides and Andy was the one who drew first blood at 4-3, landing a perfect volley winner to score a break and move in front. Serving for the set in the next game, Murray got broken at 15 after a ideal lob from Norrie who had the momentum now ahead of the tie break.
Still, Andy had the upper hand there, moving 6-3 up with a service winner before Norrie fended off all three set points to level the score at 6-6 and prolong the drama. With no room for errors, Andy fired a forehand winner to move in front again, closing the set after a double fault from Norrie, 65 minutes since the beginning of the encounter.
A left-hander clinched a break in the sixth game of the second set with a forehand winner, unable to close the set at 5-3 as Andy broke back with a volley winner to extend the set. Murray saved a set point with a forehand winner in game ten for another tie break, hoping to seal the deal in straight sets after already more than two hours spent on the court.
Cameron had some other plans, though, taking the tie break 7-4 after a forehand winner to send the match to the distance. There, Andy was back at his best, dropping three points on serve and delivering two straight breaks to crack Norrie's defense and march over the finish line.
The younger Briton gave serve away at 0-1 after a double fault, falling 4-0 down after a forced error that pushed Murray on the verge of triumph. Serving at 5-1, Andy held at 15 to seal the deal and score another vital win on the comeback trail.