Swiss Indoors: Andy Murray battles back to defeat qualifier Roman Safiullin in Basel


Andy Murray feared he might have to retire because of a hip injury in 2019
Britain’s Andy Murray battled back from a set down as he overcame qualifier Roman Safiullin in an entertaining opening round match at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.

The former world number one, 35, also trailed by a break in the deciding set.

But Murray closed out the match in style, winning five successive games as he overturned a 4-1 deficit to beat Russian Safiullin 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both recorded wins at the Vienna Open.

British number one Norrie had to come back from a set down against Argentine Pedro Cachin, taking a final-set tie-break in a 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-1) success.

Compatriot Dan Evans progressed from his opener with a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) win against German Oscar Otte.

Norrie, the world number 13, will play Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor or American Marcos Giron for a quarter-final place, while Evans meets Russian Karen Khachanov.

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Currently ranked 49th in the world, three-time Grand Slam winner Murray was originally drawn against Sebastian Korda, who he lost to in the Gijon quarter-finals earlier this month, but the American withdrew because of injury.

The Scot produced an immediate response after seeing his serve broken in the first set, but world number 93 Safiullin edged the opening set in a close tie-break.

Murray then saw off five break points as he avoided falling a break down early in the second set, before taking his third opportunity in the sixth game on his way to levelling the match.

Unable to escape a fourth break point in the fourth game of the decider, Murray was once again forced to come from behind.

He did so in emphatic fashion, punching the air after clinching the second of his three match points to set up a meeting with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut or Serbia’s Laslo Dere next.

On the opening day in Basel on Monday, world number one Carlos Alcaraz came back from a set down to defeat Britain’s Jack Draper.

The Swiss Indoors, won a record 10 times by home player Roger Federer, who announced his retirement in September, is being held for the first time in three years following the coronavirus pandemic.


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