Andy Murray edged Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (10/8) in a three-hour, 45-minute marathon to reach the second round of the European Open in Antwerp on Tuesday.
It was the longest best-of-three-set match of the year, breaking the mark set by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final (3:38).
Murray saved two match points in the final set tie-break before clinching victory on his second match point.
Statistics derived post-game indicate there was not much in it between the two players.
The Scot hit 21 aces in the match, compared to his opponent’s eight. Both players dropped serve three times while Tiafoe hit more winners – 51 to compared Murray’s 46.
Murray, though, made 21 unforced errors and Tiafoe 25.
Both players had a 67% success rate at the net, Murray winning 20 of 30 net approaches and Tiafoe 39 of 58.
Service points won was also equal at 65%, with Murray winning 87 of 134 on his own serve and Tiafoe 86 of 133.
“I think that’s the first time in my career I’ve played a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 [match]. I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” Murray said in a courtside interview. “I think it’s the longest three-set match I’ve played by quite a distance. I’m tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle.”
Murray next faces second seed Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.
Picture: Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe – European Open/Twitter