Australian Open – Andy Murray vs. Matteo Berrettini


Juliette Fang, Staff Writer

During the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, British tennis player Andy Murray earned a hard-won victory over Italian Matteo Berrettini. The gripping match, held on Jan. 16 in Melbourne Park, lasted close to five hours and resulted in a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7, 7-6 win. 

Although Murray has been a runner up in the Australian Open five times and is a three-time Grand Slam champion, the 35-year-old was also recovering from severe injuries, including hip-replacement surgery. Conversely, 26-year-old Berrettini has been ranked as high as No.6 in the world for singles and scored a four-set victory over Murray in the US Open last September. Fortunately for Murray, he was able to avenge that disappointing loss with his victory in a match during the 2023 Australian Open. 

The match started out in hot and muggy weather at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia. Murray gained a lead of two sets, five of which make up a match, at the start of the match. By scoring break points, where the returning player can win the whole game if they win the next point, Murray beat Berrettini in both sets. Using smart plays, he also forced Berrettini to use his weaker backhand by attempting to keep the ball away from his stronger forehand. 

The tides turned in the third and fourth sets, with Berrettini winning both at 6-4 and 7-6, respectively. The third set saw both players score break points, though Berretini’s improved serves were what gave him the win. The penultimate set was the longest yet, and both players did so well that it ended in a tiebreak, which Berrettini managed to win 9-7. 

With both players having won two sets, it was down to the fifth set to decide the winner of the match. Murray ultimately won 7-6, after he won his first 10-point tiebreak with an extremely lucky return that caught the top of the net. 

Despite Murray’s fortuitous victory, the match was incredibly close, with Berrettini winning just five less points than his opponent’s 166.

“I think some of the tennis at the end was really good—it felt like that playing, I don’t know what it looked like. [Berrettini] was serving unbelievably, and he’s a brilliant competitor as well, he’s one of the best competitors on the tour, he always fights right ’til the end,” said Murray in a post-match press conference.

Murray’s win is definitely welcome after devastating losses in matches last year, and has silenced any doubts about the future of his career. The result of this thrilling match makes Murray the fifth man to have 50 or more Open wins, with this being his fiftieth. 

“I felt very proud of myself after the match. That’s not something that I generally felt over the years at the end of the tennis matches,” added Murray. “I’m really proud of how I fought at the end of that match…when it could have gotten away from me.”

Training vigilantly in Florida for the last few months despite his injuries definitely contributed to his success, according to Murray. A renewed collaboration with former coach Ivan Lendl also gave him confidence and guidance.

“It just shows how much he loves the game, how much he loves these kinds of matches. He’s a great champion,” said his opponent Berrettini in a press conference

Murray has unquestionably cemented himself as a great professional tennis player after winning against Berrettini. He is now focusing on recovery for his round two match against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis on Day 4 of the 2023 Australian Open.


Photo courtesy of WIKIMEDIA COMMONS