Andy Murray: Former World No. 1 earns 700th career victory with first win at Indian Wells | Tennis News
Andy Murray is coming off a set down then a breakdown in the deciding set to defeat Taro Daniel at Indian Wells; it was a second win in three matches against the Japanese player this year to set up a second-round clash against Alexander Bublik on Saturday
By Raz Mirza
Last update: 03/12/22 00:16
Andy Murray celebrates his 700th tour-level victory after defeating Taro Daniel in Indian Wells
Andy Murray picked up a 700th career win at Indian Wells on Friday after battling to defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel in their third meeting of the year.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who announced he would start working with Ivan Lendl for the third time before Wimbledon, turned the tide after losing the first set to go 1-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round .
The major milestone in Murray’s career is a feat already achieved by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“It was a goal I set for myself at the end of last year,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “It’s obviously a lot of wins, and I’m very happy to have him here.
“Let’s go for 800 now.”
1.Roger Federer – 1251
2. Raphael Nadal – 1043
3. Novak Djokovic – 991
4. Andy Murray – 700
Daniel has a penchant for surfacing in the California desert after shocking former world number 1 Djokovic for the biggest win of his career in 2018.
The Japanese world No. 106 hit 10 winners and committed just three unforced errors as he outplayed Murray – breaking him twice – and dominating the court to claim the first set in 29 minutes.
Having already beaten the Scot in straight sets at the Australian Open, Daniel was about to do it again in a match rich in quality.
Murray, who got his revenge a few weeks later at the Qatar Open, found his rhythm and a little more rhythm in his first serve and groundstrokes to establish a comfortable 5-0 lead in the second set. .
Daniel pulled a few games back to add some respectability to the scoreline before the 34-year-old broke again to seal the set.
But just when Murray seemed to have the momentum, qualifier Daniel returned to his previous form to break Murray’s serve in the opener of their deciding shootout. However, the Scot came back to level at 3-3.
Murray pledged to donate his award for the rest of the year to help war-affected children in Ukraine, and, cheered on by the center court crowd, the world number 88 wrapped up his historic win with a service break in the 10th game on his third match point.
“I started off a little slow,” Murray said. “I’m old now so with these 11 a.m. starts, it takes me a bit of time to get there.
“But Taro played extremely well. I lost to him in Australia so I expected a tough game.”
Tournament wild card Murray will be looking to claim his 701st victory when he takes on Alexander Bublik in the second round of the Masters 1000 tournament on Sunday.
“He’s a very unorthodox player,” Murray added. “He’s incredibly talented, has great hand skills and plays differently than a lot of guys on the tour these days.
“He started well this year, but if I play well I have a chance.”
Kyrgios feels ‘fresh’ again after first win
Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios, now ranked at 132, is taking part for the first time since the Australian Open and he was a confident 6-4 6-0 winner against Argentina’s Sebastian Baez.
After his win, Kyrgios told the Indian Wells website that for the first time in a long time, he feels fit mentally and physically.
“I’m just in a different mindset,” Kyrgios said. “I feel like I’m a bit younger mentally, I feel fresh again and obviously I’m healthy again with my left knee – I feel like I’m playing really good tennis .”
Nadal will look to continue his unbeaten start to the season against young American Sebastian Korda on Saturday.
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