WATCH: Frances Tiafoe pleads with umpire before Andy Murray wins triple tiebreak tussle
Andy Murray overcame Frances Tiafoe in a match that approached four hours on court to get his European Open campaign up and running.
The former world number one defeated Tiafoe 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (10-8) with each set lasting over an hour.
Tiafoe had the opening set on his serve at 6-5, 40-30 but failed to convert before Murray claimed it in a breaker.
In the second, the 23-year-old had another set point at 5-6 on the Murray serve. Four more came and went in the tiebreak before Tiafoe eventually forced a deciding set by clinching his sixth set point.
In the final set, Tiafoe broke Murray first at 2-2 before immediately surrendering the break back to the Brit.
After an extensive rally at 4-4 in the third, Murray passed Tiafoe at the net, the American comically appealing to the umpire in disbelief at losing the point.
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Both men saw off match points in the tiebreak with aces. Murray eventually claimed the match three hours and 45 minutes since it started on the Antwerp centre court.
The win means that Murray, who last played the European Open in 2019, has won six matches in a row at the event after claiming the title that year. He defeated Stan Wawrinka in the final then, his most recent ATP title.
The victory also avenges Murray’s most recent meeting with Tiafoe, a loss in the second round of Winston-Salem in August. He now leads the pair’s head-to-head 2-1.
The 34-year-old will next face second seed and world number 14 Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-finals. Click here to read what Murray had to say about the match.
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