Andy Murray produced a stunning comeback from two sets down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka in a dramatic first-round match at the US Open.
Making his first Grand Slam appearance in nearly two years, Murray looked to be heading for an early exit as he was outplayed by the world No 49 over the first two sets.
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But the 33-year-old pulled off a remarkable victory, saving a match point in the fourth set as he won 4-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 6-4 in four hours and 40 minutes.
It is Murray’s 10th career comeback win from two sets down but the first time he has achieved the feat since 2016.
"I'm tired. My toes are the worst part,” said Murray, who will face Canadian youngster Felix Auger Aliassime in the next round after he beat Thiago Monteiro in four sets.
"The big toes on both sides are pretty beat up. I did all right physically. At the beginning of the match I was apprehensive about playing a long match because I hadn't played one for a while. I had to start putting the after-burners on and I managed to get through it."
The last time Murray was involved in a five-set match was at the Australian Open 2019 when defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut looked like it might spell the end of his career.
But this was proof that Murray, playing in only his second tour-level event since last November after undergoing hip surgery, still has plenty of fight left in the tank.

Andy Murray of Great Britain serves the ball during his Men's Singles first round match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan on Day Two of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 1, 2020 in the Queens borough of Ne

Image credit: Getty Images

He struggled to hit his highest level in the opening two sets, with his first serve not finding its target and errors allowing Nishioka to take control of the match.
Indeed, the contest looked to be slipping away from the 2012 champion as he double faulted on break point in the opening game of the third set.
But Nishioka returned the favour at 3-2 to hand the break back and give a lifeline to Murray, who showed his fighting spirit as he saved four break points to force a tie-break.
Murray raised his level in the breaker, with his powerful forehand doing most of the damage, and won it 7-5.
He then held an eight-minute game at the start of a tightly-contested fourth set, before Nishioka spurned a chance to win the match at 6-5 when he went long with a service return.

Andy Murray in action in the first round at the US Open

Image credit: Getty Images

The miss might have been on his mind in the tie-break as his level dropped and Murray forced a decider.
Murray again gave away a break with a double fault but he responded immediately thanks to a sublime backhand lob.
The same shot helped him win the match as Nishioka was unable to get a lob back in play and Murray secured another remarkable win.

Expert View - Eurosport's Mats Wilander

I think it was impressive that he won. Getting to two-sets all after being two down is one thing, but to go and win shows how physically impressive he is.
To win is the big difference because he did something similar in Australia last year against Roberto Bautista Agut and couldn’t get over the line.
This win will give him an incredible amount of self-belief and pride. I think he realises from today that he needs to be more aggressive from the get-go, or his intensity level needs to be higher.
When it really mattered, he still had it.
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