Andy Murray survives second set scare to progress to last-16 of the Stockholm Open

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

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Andy Murray is though to the last 16 of the Stockholm after beating Norway’s Viktor Durasovic in straight sets. Murray, 34, was dominant in the first set, but was made to dig deep thereafter by the world No 354 before he prevailed 6-1 7-6(9-7) to set up a clash with top seed Jannik Sinner.

At 1-0 early on, the three time Grand-Slam winner then took command by earning a break of serve when Durasovic put a tame forehand into the net.

Murray consolidated by holding his own serve and although Durasovic, 24, initially saved a break point in the next game, two unforced errors handed the former world No 1 a 4-0 lead.

That promptly became 5-0 before the underdog finally got on the board as a couple of forehand winners helped him hold his serve to love.

However, Durasovic’s tally of 11 unforced errors in the first set left him battling the tide, and at 5-1 an ace from Murray wrapped up matters in less than 30 minutes.

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The British player then broke in the opening game of the second set, but only after a marathon game which yielded five deuces.

At 15-40 down, Durasovic showed real resilience as a backhand winner and then a booming serve got him out of jail, and another winner saved a third break point before the Norwegian failed to convert two game points of his own.

Murray didn’t waste his fourth chance as Durasovic tamely fired a forehand into the net – and then duly consolidated the break to lead 2-0.

From there, Durasovic rallied though. A cross-court winner got him on the board in the second set and some well-executed drop-shots in his next service game helped him stay in touch at 3-2. 

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Murray had been serving formidably but his opponent was clearly growing in confidence, and after earning a first break point of the match, Durasovic levelled the set with a well-executed overhead smash.

Suddenly, the British player had a match on his hands and at 5-4, and then 6-5 down, twice found himself serving to stay in the set. He was nerveless in doing so both times, and then at 2-2 in a tie-break showed all his experience to win the next three points.

Back came Durasovic to 5-4, only to put a forehand into the net and hand Murray two match points. The Norwegian saved both though, and then a fourth ace gave him his own set point – only to then hit long in a tense rally.

From there, Murray finally closed things out after going 8-7 up, ending an epic exchange with a forehand winner.

Afterwards, Murray praised his resilient opponent, saying: “He’ll keep moving up the rankings if he’s playing like that. I’m happy to get through as he was playing very well at the end of the match.”

Murray cut a determined figure throughout, and was asked on-court about his continuing passion for the game.

“I started playing tennis from a young age. I’ve enjoyed not this competition but the everyday trying to get better and improve. I’m obviously grateful to be back on court again and competing and hopefully I have some good tennis left in me.”

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