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Andy Murray Produces Vintage Comeback To Beat Lorenzo Sonego At Qatar In First Appearances Since Australian Open

Andy Murray tasted victory in his first competitive appearance since the Australian Open, as the Scot produced a classic comeback victory to beat Lorenzo Sonego in the first round of the Qatar Open. Murray won 4-6 6-1 7-6(4) to set up a last 16 clash with Alexander Zverev. The wild card had to save three match points before sealing his latest fightback win.

Andy Murray pulled off a trademark comeback victory to beat Lorenzo Sonego in the first round of the Qatar Open, the Brit’s first appearance since the Australian Open.

The 35-year-old wild card saved three match points before winning 4-6 6-1 7-6(4) to set up a last 16 clash with fourth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, who was given a bye through the first round at the ATP 250 event.
“He’s obviously one of the top players in the world,” Murray said about his next opponent.

“He had a bad injury at [Roland Garros] last year and is just coming back from that. He’s going to be improving every week just now. He’s not quite at the level he was back in the middle of last year, but injuries like that take time. It will be another great match, hopefully I can keep building on this one.”

Murray was competing for the first time since his jaw-dropping run in Melbourne, where he overcame Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis in five sets before eventually losing in four to Roberto Bautista Agut.

He had to battle back from a set down to clinch victory over 27-year-old Sonego, showing typical grit to get across the line despite hitting one ace to his opponent’s eight and 20 winners to his opponent’s 34, with the Italian’s unforced error count of 26 ultimately costing him dearly.

Two-time Doha champion Murray faces Zverev next in a field that also includes the likes of Andrey Rublev, Dan Evans, Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

“It was really tough. 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,” Murray said.

“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 the momentum. But thankfully in the mid-part of that tie-break he made a couple of mistakes and I managed to turn it around.”

Murray got off to a disastrous start, losing his opening three points on serve before handing Sonego an early break with a double fault.

The Italian consolidated by holding with his first ace of the match, before Murray showed a good response by producing a love hold in his following service game.

The Scot could not find a way back into the set though, as it stayed on serve and Sonego denied him even a single break point on his way to clinching it 6-4 in 36 minutes.

The former world No. 1 got off to a flying start in the second with a love hold and a break, eventually coming out on top of an epic deuce to convert his fourth break point chance.

In the zone now, Murray put his foot on the accelerator to take a solid hold, a second break – this time at the third attempt – and a love hold to go 5-0 up.

Sonego finally got on the board with a love hold of his own but could not stop the Murray momentum as the 35-year-old landed his first ace of the match to take the second set.

The Italian survived break point to hold serve in the opening game of the decider, and it soon settled into a pattern as both players held comfortably as the Italian went 5-4 up, hitting four aces in that time.

Murray then displayed vintage grit as he went 15-40 down on serve to surrender two match points. He saved both before coughing up another, only to save that too and take the next two points for a huge hold.

The match was eventually settled by a tie-break. Sonego raced into a 3-0 lead but again Murray came roaring back against adversity, taking the next six points in a row before sealing the breaker – and the match – 7-4.

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