Alex De Minaur recovered from 5-2 down in the final set of his first round match with Andy Murray at the Paris Masters to make it six wins undefeated against the former world No. 1.
The 7-6 4-6 7-5 victory keeps alive the world No. 13’s hopes of reaching the ATP Finals in Turin, as he attempts to become the first Australian to qualify for the season-ending event since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004.
Murray slammed his racquet into the chair as his frustration boiled over at the end of the match, having looked to be cruising to victory.
De Minaur made a rampant start and broke through Murray’s serve in the first game, with the Scot’s double fault handing the world No. 13 an early lead.
The 24-year-old was playing with a swagger at the start of the set, moving 3-1 up on his serve thanks to a wonderful ace.
However, Murray showed the resilience that has characterised his career to emphatically claim a break back to love, levelling the score at 4-4.
Momentum looked to be turning towards the three-time grand slam winner, after winning four consecutive points to move 5-4 ahead.
He came agonisingly close to winning the first set against all the odds following a fast start from De Minaur, but relinquished three set points.
A tie-break followed, and the Australian drew first blood on his second set point when Murray could only hit a forehand into the net.
There were unforced errors aplenty for both players, but De Minaur’s stronger forehand ultimately proved decisive.
After a break of serve each to start the second set, De Minaur staved off a break point to take a hold at 2-1.
Murray was arguably more impressive on his serve after claiming two holds to love, while De Minaur sealed the seventh game with a lovely drop-shot to move 4-3 ahead.
De Minaur’s erratic forehand gave Murray two break points, and a long forehand moved the Brit 5-4 up to leave him serving for the set.
He came through that to level the scores with a brilliant backhand, winning the game with an impressive hold to 15.
Momentum was with Murray, and he immediately broke at the start of the third set to 15, after De Minaur hit what appeared to be a routine overhead wide.
The Australian put his opponent under pressure in the fourth game and was in danger of going a double break down in the next. That eventually happened in the seventh game, when an attempted drop shot fell short of its target – an effort into the net putting Murray 5-2 up.
With Murray serving for the match, De Minaur came out loose and went 15-30 up, but Murray had the crowd on their feet after coming out on top in a 30-shot rally. He could not hold serve in the next two points though, and his opponent recovered one break.
De Minaur held, and with the pressure on, Murray’s serve was beginning to fail him. The Australian repeated the trick to move back level and then succeeded on his own serve to move out in front.
From the brink of the second round, now Murray was serving to stay in the match. An overruled line call from the chair umpire brought up match point for De Minaur, and Murray’s collapse was complete with a shot into the net.
De Minaur will face either Serbian Dusan Lajovic or Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi in the next round.
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