Andy Murray at the Australian Open: Reaching new milestones and rolling back the years
Andy Murray became the 10th player to reach 50 wins in singles matches at the Australian Open with his thrilling five-set victory over Matteo Berrettini.
The 35-year-old joined his 'big four' rivals in the list of men to reach the milestone in the Open era, with Roger Federer top of the pile (102) ahead of Novak Djokovic (83) and Rafael Nadal (77), with Sweden's Stefan Edberg (56) the only other male player to rack up a half-century. Serena Williams leads the way on the women's side (92), with Maria Sharapova (57) her nearest competitor. Here, we look back at Murray's Australian Open career.
Rolling back the years
Murray's incredible victory over Berrettini – a former Wimbledon finalist and the world number 14 – was his first over a top-20 player at a grand slam since he initially developed hip problems in 2017. The win was reminiscent of his finest, sealed after four hours and 49 minutes in a final-set tie-break after having saved a match point.
Murray looked set to end his career with 48 Australian Open wins in 2019, when he gave an emotional press conference at Melbourne Park before undergoing a second hip surgery. He recorded a five-set success over Nikoloz Basilashvili on his return to Australia in 2022, but followed that up with a disappointing second-round loss to world number 120 Taro Daniel.
As a result of his injury-induced hiatus, the 35-year-old Murray is the second-oldest player to reach 50 Melbourne Park wins behind Venus Williams, who did so at the age of 36 in a run to the 2017 final.
The Australian Open is Murray's second most successful grand slam in terms of match victories, behind Wimbledon (60), but he has never won the title. In fact, the Scot is the only male player to win 50 matches and fail to lift the trophy at any of the grand slams.
He made it to five finals between 2010 and 2016, losing the first to six-time champion Federer and the next four to nine-time winner Djokovic. Murray struggled to produce his best tennis in those finals, winning just two sets across the five matches.
What he said
Murray, a harsh self-critic, allowed himself a pat on the back after his victory over Berrettini. He said: “Over the last few years I've questioned myself at times. There's certainly a lot of people [who have] questioned me and my ability, whether I could still perform at the biggest events and the biggest matches.
“I felt very proud of myself after the match. That's not something that I generally felt over the years at the end of the matches. I'm really proud of how I fought through that match when it could have got away from me, how I played in the tie-break at the end. I was impressed with myself, which again is not something I often do. I'm hard on myself usually.”
Murray faces Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakisin the second round on Thursday. He defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini in a rain-delayed first-round match. Murray will prepare by trying to get an early night – one of the key changes to his routine he has made in recent years.
“The one thing I've definitely got better, probably since I had the kids, I used to always go to bed quite late,” he said. “Now I tend to get myself in bed much, much earlier - prioritise my sleep a bit more and the process of the recovery. I wouldn't expect myself to feel perfect on Thursday, but hopefully I'll be in a good place.”