Andy Murray finally tamed the frustration factor in another fighting win as the former No. 1 moved into the second round of the Indian Wells Masters on Thursday.
The Scot came through with another winning final set to put out Tomas Etchyverry 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4.
In all seven of his wins this season, the 35-year-old has had to go the distance to taste success on court.
“I felt like I was fortunate in some of them (matches won in 2023),” Murray said. “Today I really had lots of chances in that third set.
“But I wasn’t getting them and was getting really frustrated. He was coming up with some big serves at times.
“But I also made some poor decisions as well. The more chances that went by the more you think about it.”
Murray called his afternoon’s work “another brutal match and (I’m) glad I managed to get through it.”
The opening set to nearly 90 minutes to complete with both players getting a break before Murray saved a set point in game 12. The tie-breaker was a close affair with the Argentine edging it 3-2 on the mini breaks.
Murray, though, was brilliant in the second set as he broke in games four and six to take it to a decider. He then did what he does best in 2023: win the decider. After saving two break points in game eight, he got the crucial break in game nine and then served it out on his second match point.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence, but last year I lost a lot of them,” he said of his deciding-set heroics. “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.”
Main photo:- A frustrated Andy Murray – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd