Andy Murray made a winning return to the European Open in Antwerp as he saved two match points to beat Frances Tiafoe in an epic first-round contest.
Murray won his last title at the European Open in 2019, and kept alive his hopes of a repeat after beating world No 48 Tiafoe 7-6(2) 6-7(7) 7-6(8) in three hours and 45 minutes.
World No 172 Murray will next face second seed Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.
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"My body’s old now," he said afterwards.
I played a lot of matches on the tour; I don’t mind playing long matches but that was taking it to another level. Brilliant match, amazing atmosphere.
Tiafoe had beaten Murray in Winston-Salem earlier this summer and he made a strong start as he broke in the third game.
Murray missed the chance to break straight back from 0-40, but got back on level terms at 5-5 when Tiafoe was serving for the set and hit a double fault at 30-30.
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Murray lost serve immediately to give Tiafoe another opportunity, only for the American to miss a set point and then get broken back.
An entertaining set swung in Murray’s favour in the tie-break as he reeled off six points in a row from 2-1 down to move ahead.
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Murray had chances to break in the third and seventh games of the second set but couldn’t convert.
He started the tie-break with a brilliant passing shot, only for Tiafoe to fight back from 3-1 down to 5-3 ahead. The American spurned four set points before eventually taking an opportunity to level.
There was little between the pair in a hard-fought third set that saw them trade breaks before another tie-break.
Both saw match points saved against the serve before Murray wrapped up a thrilling win with a drop shot that Tiafoe couldn’t return.
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