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Murray Fights Off Tiafoe in Antwerp Marathon Match

Andy Murray fought off two match points in the final tiebreaker out-dueling Frances Tiafoe 7-6(2), 6-7(7), 7-6(8) in a pulsating three hour, 45-minute thriller.

Andy Murray was a marathon man completing a rousing run in Antwerp.

Murray fought off two match points in the final tiebreaker out-dueling a gritty Frances Tiafoe 7-6(2), 6-7(7), 7-6(8) in a pulsating thee hour, 45-minute thriller that the former No. 1 called the longest three-setter he’s ever played.

On his second match point, Murray dabbed a clever drop shot to close a fantastic and fierce battle and send him into a European Open second-round clash vs. second-seeded Diego Schwartzman.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” Murray said afterward. “I think it’s the longest three set match I’ve ever played by quite a distance.

“I’m tired right now. Obviously it was an unbelievable battle. He kept coming up with brilliant serves and great shots when I was getting chances.”

The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion fired 21 aces, denied seven of 10 break points, deployed the serve-and-volley at times and pulled off some exquisite drop shots combating Tiafoe’s superior power.

The 48th-ranked Tiafoe belted a backhand down the line then drilled an ace for match point at 6-5 in the final tiebreaker.

Murray smacked a serve winner to erase match point. Tiafoe denied a Murray match point slamming an ace wide to even it at 7-7.

On Tiafoe’s second match point, the American sailed a return long. Murray drew a netted backhand for a second match point at 9-8.

This time, the thee-time Grand Slam champion converted dabbing a daring drop shot to reach the second round after an exhilarating an exhausting battle.

“I don’t mind playing long matches. but that was taking it to another level,” Murray told the Antwerp crowd afterward.

“So brilliant match, amazing atmosphere, thanks to everyone who came and supported and just so nice to be back playing in front of crowds again.”