Andy Murray says he will need a day off after winning a gruelling first round match against Stanislas Wawrinka at the Cincinnati Masters.
Murray fought off cramps to win 7-6(3) 5-7 7-5 in two hours and 56 minutes which was his first victory in the North American swing ahead of the US Open.
He will play compatriot Cameron Norrie in a battle of the Brits in the next round, which Murray is hoping takes place from Wednesday.
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“I started to feel it a little bit in the second and struggled at the beginning of the third," said Murray after the mach.
"I tried to get as many electrolyte salts as possible and saw the physio a bit which helped.
“But I struggled with the cramps in Washington against [Mikael] Ymer and again today so I need to get on top of that.
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“I don’t know if we play tomorrow, I’m hoping there’s a day off. I’ll go and ask for one now if not!"
Both players showed moments of brilliance as well as some unforced errors throughout a tight first set.
Wawrinka didn’t face a break point at all until the momentum changed in the tie-break when a double fault from the Swiss player put Murray on the front foot. Murray took advantage to win the first set in just under an hour.
The second set was similar to the first, although Wawrinka needed a medical time out after the third game as a physio looked at his left calf. Any problems he had didn’t hold him back as the match continued to be a very close affair.
With no signs of a break of serve, suddenly there were two consecutive breaks. First Wawrinka broke Murray, before the Briton won the next game.
Another tie-break beckoned until a double fault and a broken string gave Wawrinka two set points at 6-5 which he made good use of to steal the set.
Wawrinka took confidence from that to break early in the deciding set as Murray struggled to move at times as he suffered from cram. Surprisingly, the world No. 47 broke back despite suffering from cramp as he called for the physio.
Murray received a second and final massage, as per rules which limit the number of cramp treatments to two, as both players continued to hold serve.
Both players began to struggle with fatigue with the majority of the crowd urging a physically drained Murray on.
The crucial moment came at 5-5 when Murray had one break point opportunity and took it.
There was a final sprinkle of drama in the final game as Murray was penalised for a time violation and needed four match points to seal a thriller in Cincinnati.
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Norrie awaits for Murray
Murray will need as much rest as possible after his efforts against Wawrinka as compatriot Cameron Norrie awaits in the next round. Norrie beat Holger Rune in another tight match that went to a decider.
The Brits have only played each other once before with Murray beating Norrie at the 2019 China Open.
"Cam’s had a brilliant year or last 18 months," said Murray. He’s been playing top level tennis, very, very consistently.
“It will be a big test and a great match for me going into the US Open."
Earlier on Monday, both players were confirmed to represent Great Britain at next month’s Davis Cup along with Dan Evans and Joe Sailsbury.
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