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Qatar Open: Murray rallies past Sonego after saving three match points

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Doha, Feb 21 (IANS) In his first competitive appearance since the Australian Open, Andy Murray produced a classic comeback victory to beat Lorenzo Sonego in the first round of the Qatar Open.

The 35-year-old Briton showed trademark resilience to rally to a 4-6, 1-6, 7-6(4) first-round victory against Lorenzo Sonego on Monday. The two-time Doha champion saved three match points before prevailing at the ATP 250 tournament.

“It was really tough,” Murray was quoted by the ATP Tour website. “We never played together, or practised with each other before, so I didn’t know exactly how the match was going to go and it took a while to get used to his game.

“He’s a very aggressive player, takes a lot of chances, but it’s high-risk tennis. He rolled the dice at the end, and it looked like he had momentum. But thankfully in the mid-part of that tie-break, he made a couple of mistakes and I managed to turn it around.”

It was the second tournament in a row where Murray’s first-round match was settled by a deciding-set tie-break. He also saved a match point before edging Matteo Berrettini in his opener at January’s Australian Open, where he later rallied from two-sets-to-love down to defeat Thanasi Kokkinakis in a second-round epic.

Murray, who is a four-time finalist in Doha and lifted the trophy in 2008 and 2009, is now 7-0 in opening-round matches at the outdoor hard-court event.

The 46-time tour-level titlist will play fourth seed German Alexander Zverev in the second round as he bids to reach his first ATP Tour quarterfinal of the season.

–IANS

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