In the men’s singles, Alex de Minaur (seeded 22) is a set up (6-2) and 2-2 with Yu Hsiou Hsu, the Taiwanese player ranked 209.
* Zidansek 1-2 Jabeur (*denotes next server)
The No 2 seed edges in front. Zidansek takes her opponent to 30-30 but Jabeur closes out a service hold comfortably. It’s 8.15pm in Melbourne now, so if this is turns into a close match, it’ll be a late finish with Djokovic coming next.
Zidansek 1-1 Jabeur* (*denotes next server)
At 40-30 and game point, Zidansek misjudges a backhand and flops it into the net. But she wins the point on deuce to set up another game point … Suddenly Jabeur starts to time the ball, and whips a lovely forehand winner into the corner to drag it back to deuce.
There is another powerful baseline exchange and when Jabeur hits fractionally long, there is a third game point for Zidansek, but again Jabeur pegs her back, this time with an inside-out forehand hammered cross-court, another clean winner.
A long rally, Jabeur again hitting it well, but then the Tunisian tries a drop shot and hits it short … back to deuce, but Jabeur wins the necessary two straight points to grab a break back. After an indifferent start Jabeur is definitely beginning to warm up.
* Zidansek 1-0 Jabeur (*denotes next server)
An early break for Zidansek in an error-strewn opening. Jabeur hits powerfully wide to begin, and on the next point, his opponent hits into the net … Jabeur then scuffs a forehand into the net for 15-30, a horrible shot, and soon slices another forehand long for 15-40 … Another unforced error by Jabeur, and Zidansek is off to the best possible start.
After the intense heat, it’s been raining in Melbourne, and the roof is closed. Here we go for Ons Jabeur’s assault on the year’s first grand slam.
All the day-two results from Melbourne Park can be seen here, on the official tournament site. But do stay here for Jabeur v Zidansek.
Plenty of people in the UK will be waking up and checking what time the highlights are on later today, because that was an unmissable win.
For nearly four hours under the glaring spotlight of Rod Laver Arena, Andy Murray had weaved together a joyful, vintage performance that positioned him on the verge of his best result in the past five years of his career. First he established an emphatic two-set lead over Matteo Berrettini, then in a breathless tie-break Murray stood two points from victory.
Even as it all seemed to be coming undone, as Berrettini dragged Murray back to a fifth set and stood even closer to victory, at no point did Murray allow his intensity to drop. He fought with everything he had until death and at the end of a brilliant, rousing and high quality match, Murray closed off his best performance in half a decade with a classic victory.
Up next on Rod Laver Arena: Ons Jabeur (2) meets Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, who is ranked No 98.
On Eurosport they are running some interview footage with Novak Djokovic, who is reflecting on last year’s furore. He says that it was a very difficult time for him and his family, but that his positive experiences in Australia far outweigh the negative.
Seems a fair point, considering he’s won the men’s singles at the Australian Open no fewer than nine times. He will be on court after Jabeur’s match, and faces Roberto Carballés Baena, ranked No 75, who I think is more a doubles specialist.
Zverev seals his win, and points an index finger to his temple, presumably denoting his mental strength … he then roars with delight and relief after coming through a five-setter on his comeback.
Also in the men’s singlesAlexander Zverev (12) is being taken all the way by the world No 103 Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru, but now has a couple of match points …
Varillas 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, 6-7(3), 4-5 Zverev
Stunning victory for Murray. Great to see him playing so well. Now, what else is going on?
Speaking to Eurosport’s studio team, Murray says: “Amazing win. To stay with in that fifth set, when he was playing and serving as well as he was, was a great mental effort. Physically, obviously at the end, both of us are tired and I have really put a lot of work in the last three months. I have been playing well in practice. But in the last couple of years, I’ve lost a few of these matches in slams … that one could have got away from me, but I think all the work I’ve put in these last few months paid off there at the end . Yes, I was a little bit lucky on the match point … but I earned that.”
“I stayed remarkably calm at the end. Obviously I got a really good start in the tiebreak, which helped me … I felt like in the [final-set tiebreak] rallies I took the initiative when I could … I think I served quite smart throughout the match.
“He hit a pretty bad shot on the match point. I was lucky there, for sure. But I served smart, I played every point, and thankfully it was enough. I don’t know what the final points total was. But through the match it must have been unbelievably close. There must have only been one or two points in it.”
Lightheartedly, Tim Henman asks Murray if he should be diving on a hard court with a metal hip, referring to one specific volley.
“I’ll probably find out tonight or tomorrow whether that was the right move,” Murray says. “I was so close to the finish line there … it feels all right, just now, but let’s see in a few hours.”
“Amazing win. Get a good rest,” Henman says at the end.
Murray is correct regarding the closeness of points won: 166 to him, 161 to Berrettini.
“Tennis fans have been spotted hoisting a Russian flag at the Australian Open despite a ban introduced by Tennis Australia earlier on Tuesday in response to strong criticism from the Ukrainian ambassador.”
Earlierplay was suspended due to extreme heat in Melbourne, with temperatures climbing to 36C and above:
Murray speaks, standing on Rod Laver Arena, after a titanic battle with an opponent nine years his junior. The interviewer starts by pointing out that the 35-year-old Murray has not lost from two sets up for 18 years. Was Murray aware of that?
“I didn’t know that, no…”
Next question: Murray must be tired?
“I’ll be feeling this evening and tomorrow. But right now I’m just unbelievably happy, very proud of myself. I’ve put a lot of work into the last few months with my team who are here, to give me the opportunity to perform in stadiums like this, in matches like this, against players like Matteo. And it paid off tonight.”
Berrettini had won his previous nine tiebreaks at the Australian Openthe interviewer points out.
“I didn’t know any of these stats – which probably helped,” Murray chuckles.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever played one of those 10-point tiebreakers. It’s a bit different. When you’re up 6-1, 7-1 or whatever, it feels like you’re still quite far away. I was a bit lucky at the end with the net cord.
“Some of the tennis at the end was really good. It felt like that, playing. I don’t know what it looked like. He was serving unbelievably. He’s one of the best competitors on the tour. Yeah, I did well to get through … Thanks very much, thanks everyone.”
The crowd roars. Wonderful stuff.
Murray will meet either Athanasios Kokkinakis or Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Berrettini dumps a poor shot into the net! After a massive, massive struggle, he hands Murray his match point, and a place in the second round.
“Absolutely phenomenal,” observes the commentator on Eurosport. Another Murray classic … what a win! Melbourne Park is the place where his colleagues on the tour effectively tried to retire him with that farewell video. And yet here he is. Murray applauds generously as Berrettini walks off.
Berrettini 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-6 (6-9) Murray
Murray hits long for 6-8, then nails a couple of smashes to set up three match points!
Berrettini 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-6 (5-8) Murray
Berrettini bites back in a quite amazing point that Murray seems to have control of with a great forehand down the line … then a big serve from the Italian and it’s 5-8 to Murray. The Scot can serve for the match and a place in the second round.
Berrettini 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-6 Murray
Two points away for Murray … 8-3.
Berrettini 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-6 Murray (final set tiebreak)
It’s 3-6 for Murray now as the Scot sends a forehand wide. A glimmer of hope for the Italian … first to 10.
Berrettini 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-6 Murray
Berrettini finally gets on the board. 5-1 in the final set tiebreak.
Hello everyone. Andy Murray currently leads a final-set tiebreak against Matteo Berrettini, 4-0 … and it’s first to 10. Make that 5-0! Can Murray close this out?