Andy Murray pulls off record-breaking comeback in epic Aus Open win over Kokkinakis | Tennis | Sport
The legend of Sir Andy Murray just keeps on growing for the generations to come. But the grandchildren might not believe it. After his best win with a metal hip in the opening round here, the double Olympic champion set another new record by fighting back to outlast and outclass Thanasi Kokkinaki in a late-night thriller Down Under.
The Aussie, 26, played superbly to lead 5-2 in the third set and was two points from victory. Nearly four hours later, the ageless Murray completed his 11th ever comeback from two sets down to set a new record ahead of Roger Federer, Boris Becker and Aaron Krickstein. The former world No.1 triumphed 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 7-5 after five hours 45 minutes in a match which started at 10.20pm finished at 4.05pm. This was after beating world No.14 Matteo Berrettini in four hours and 49 minutes on Monday.
The Scot and Aussie are friends but this was a brutal heavyweight slugfest fought out to the finish. It was a match with everything as Kokkinakis received two code violations – one for smashing his racket in frustration. That came after a ridiculous rally at 2-0 in the third set when Murray returned four Kokkinas overheads before the home favourite dumped a forehand into the net.
The Scot also rowed with Greek umpire Eva Asderaki after he received a time violation on his serve in the second set before reaching the third round here for the first time since 2017. He also told Askderaki that the late finish was “disrespectful” to everyone involved during a mid-match rant in his chair.
Murray’s previous longest match had been his 2016 Davis Cup defeat to Juan Martin Del Potro which lasted five hours and seven minutes. His latest finish had been at 3.02am at Washington in 2018. Both before his surgeries and his long absence from the sport he still loves and cannot leave. “The match was obviously very up and down,” said the world No.66. “There was frustration and there was tension, there was excitement and all of that stuff. It’s obviously amazing to win the match but I also want to go to bed now. I’m like: ‘It’s great but I want to sleep.”
But Murray was not going to let the controversy over the late finish lie. “That’s what’s gonna happen when you play in cold conditions at that time of the day and with balls like that,” he said. “You’re gonna get long rallies long points.
“It’s strange because the courts are fast. But the balls. At the beginning of the match, it felt like there was no pressure in the ball, flat almost. Thanasi was complaining about it quite a lot during the match as well. So it’s just difficult to hit winners once you’re in the rallies. I think there was a 70-shot rally yesterday which is not normal. We probably need to look at that.”
He swore at the umpire: “What the f**k. What is that s***?”
Kokkinakis, who fired down 37 aces, later maintained the tone by tweeting: “This f****** sport man.”
The Scot, who took his first match point with a backhand winner, famously came back from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco at Wimbledon in 2013. The rest is history.
“I’m aware that the tournament finished well for me,” said Murray. “It was one of the best weeks of my life on the cour. Let’s hope I can keep going here. But first I need to keep recovering now.”