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‘This is where I thought I’d played my last match’ – Murray wins mammoth match against Basilashvili on return to Melbourne

Life is never quiet when the three-time Grand Slam champion is around

Andy Murray Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili (Panoramic)

Australian Open 2022 | Draw | Order of play | 1st round

Andy Murray’s return to the Australian Open began well in the first round as he continued his winning streak against Nikoloz Basilashvili, winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4.

The pair had played in the round of 16 at Sydney Tennis Classic last week, with the former world No 1 winning 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 – adding to his four-set win in last year’s first round at Wimbledon.

It was Murray’s first match in Melbourne since another epic five-setter – a defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in 2019, after which he wondered, in a tearful press conference, if he would ever be in good enough physical condition to play at a Grand Slam again. This was assumed to be a retirement announcement by most – but three years and one metal hip later, he has returned, albeit with a wildcard entry rather than entitlement via ranking.

Murray managed to crack a smile in his post-match interview, admitting: “It’s been a tough three or four years, a lot of work to get back here. I’ve played on this court many times – the atmosphere is incredible, I’ve always had fantastic support. This is the court I thought I’d potentially played my last match on three years ago, amazing to be back winning a five-set battle like that. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

He next faces Japan’s Taro Daniel, who made it through qualifying to the main draw.

Men’s seeds who lost on Tuesday (1st round): Basilashvili (21), Isner (22), Humbert (29)
Seeds already out: Norrie (12), Harris (30)

Seeds who won on Tuesday (1st round): Medvedev (2), Rublev (5), Auger-Aliassime (9), Sinner (11), Schwartzman (13), Bautista Agut (15), Evans (24), Dimitrov (26), Cilic (27)

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