Andy Murray responds to Frances Tiafoe over ‘biggest competitor I know’ compliment

Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring

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Andy Murray has responded after his European Open first-round opponent wrote him a lengthy message on Instagram. The Brit beat world No 48 Frances Tiafoe in a marathon three hour and 45 minute battle in the opening round on Tuesday (October 19). He was heralded an “inspiration” and the sport’s “biggest competitor” by the American following their three-set clash.

Murray is playing the European Open for the first time since he won the title back in 2019.

It was the first and only singles title he has won since undergoing a hip resurfacing operation earlier that year.

He faced a tough test in his opening round, drawing the world No 48 Tiafoe, who he lost to less than two months ago in the Winston-Salem Open.

The 23-year-old got the better of the former world No 1 in two tight sets, and though the match felt close back in August, it was nothing on the near four-hour battle seen in Antwerp on Tuesday night.

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Murray got revenge over the American as he narrowly closed out what he said was the “longest three-set match of [his] career” 7-6(2) (7)6-7 7-6(8).

The three-time Grand Slam champion needed three hours and 45 minutes to overcome Tiafoe in the opening round, to set up an enticing second-round encounter with world No 14 Diego Schwartzman.

After clapping the young American off the court, Murray later revealed the pair sat in the locker room speaking for half an hour after the match – something the current world No 172 said was a “rare” occurrence in his 897 career matches.

Tiafoe later took to Instagram to pay tribute to the 46-time title winner, saying matches like theirs were the “reason” he played tennis.

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“I don’t even really know what to say. Last night was just insane. It definitely hurts to be on the wrong side of the stick after a match like this….but damn that’s why I play this game,” Tiafoe wrote, posting a photo of him hugging the former world No 1 after their match.

“To battle the best players in the world. We sure did battle 2 out 3 sets in 3 hrs and 45 minutes. I’m still hurting bro.

“Gotta S/O @andymurray you a true inspiration bro. Everything you been thru and your playing at this high of a level and still keep your standards extremely high. Asking for the best out of yourself and then some. All while having a metal hip.

“Your the biggest competitor I know the respect I have for you is thru the roof.”

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A post shared by Frances Tiafoe (@bigfoe1998)

He added: “As much as I wish I beat yo ass last night. To share a historic match like that glad it was against you man. Nothing but love and respect for SIR ANDY MURRAY. #realrecognizereal #oneofthebesttoeverdoit”.

Murray has since responded to his opponent, showing his appreciation for Tiafoe’s kind words.

“Great battle youngster. It’s not easy out there,” he commented, adding a laughing-crying emoji.
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