Murray wins 5-set marathon in US Open return

Tennis

NEW YORK — Andy Murray saved a match point and put together his 10th career comeback from two sets down to win his first Grand Slam contest in nearly 20 months.

The 2012 US Open champion, still working his way back from a pair of operations on his right hip, overcame 13 double-faults and a big deficit to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-4 in 4 hours, 39 minutes.

Murray is a former No. 1-ranked player whose resume also includes two Wimbledon championships and two Olympic singles gold medals.

The 33-year-old had hip surgery in January 2018, then again in January 2019, shortly after a first-round loss at the Australian Open. He figured he would need to retire from tennis.

But Murray eventually returned to the tour last season. A pelvic problem — combined with the sport’s coronavirus-caused hiatus — kept him off the tour from last November until August.

Murray faced a match point Tuesday while down 6-5 in the fourth set, but he saved it with a 127 mph service winner.

In other matches, Sam Querrey was knocked out of the first round by Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 7-5 (6), 6-2.

The Russian, who missed more than two years because of a hip injury, completed his long comeback with his first tour-level win since 2017. He returned to play last month at a Prague Challenger event and lost his only match after a two-year, seven-month layoff because of the hip.

Kuznetsov is the first unranked player to win a Grand Slam match since Nicolas Kiefer at Wimbledon in 2007.

Also, Sumit Nagal became the first Indian man to win a match at the US Open in seven years. The 23-year-old resident of New Delhi beat Bradley Klahn 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Nagal came in ranked No. 124 in the world.

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