Andy Murray is through to the second round of Indian Wells after recovering from a set down to beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4.
Murray outlasted his Argentine opponent to win the contest, hitting 28 winners compared to Etcheverry’s 36, and will play No. 15 seed Pablo Carrena Busta in the next round.
“In some of the matches I managed to win this year, I felt like I was fortunate in some of them, whereas today I really had lots of chances in that third set,” Murray said after the win, referring to his eight break opportunities in the final set.
“I wasn’t getting them and was getting really frustrated. He was coming up with some big serves at times but I also felt like I made some poor decisions as well. The more chances that went by the more you think about it.
“I did really well to keep going in the end. Another brutal match and I’m glad I managed to get through it.”
The first set lasted one hour and 28 minutes and was a thriller as Murray continued to counter the powerful Etcheverry serve to remain within touching distance.
Etcheverry forced the Scot into a tie-break and won the tight battle with a forehand winner down the line to take the lead.
Nevertheless, Murray remained resilient at the baseline and did not drop his serve in the next two sets. He converted his only two break points of the second set to force a third set.
Murray, who remains undefeated in the seven final sets he has been in this year, pushed Etcheverry hard in the decider.
The 35-year-old fought off two break points at 3-4 before securing the pivotal break on his fifth break point of the next game thanks to a Etcheverry double fault.
After a fine half volley to set up match point, the 2009 Indian Wells finalist finished the match off with his sixth ace.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence, but last year I lost a lot of them,” Murray said when discussing his impressive record in final sets.
“I was talking to my team about it, just saying like the law of averages. This can’t keep going. Once I won one I did feel like I would start to feel more comfortable in those situations. Thankfully, that’s been the case.
“Obviously, winning all seven, I’m aware that at some stage I’m going to lose one of them.
“I worked very hard in the off-season to put myself in a great position physically, and I feel very motivated.
“Even when I’ve gotten behind in matches I’ve kept fighting, kept trying to find solutions. I won some matches that certainly if some of these matches were played last year I wouldn’t have won them.”
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