By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — The Scot is a fighter. He has been his entire career.
And now, playing with a metal hip after hip surgery, Andy Murray on the comeback trail outlasted 49th-seeded Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 in the first round of the U.S. Open.
He saved one match point and fought back from behind a break at 3-2 in the fifth set. Murray, currently ranked no. 115 in the world was making his first Grand Slam appearance in 20 months.
The three-time Grand Slam winner had a first serve percentage of only 41% in the first set. He seemed a step slow for his left-handed opponent, who was mixing up lobs and net appearances with abandon.
There was no crowd to cheer the popular Murray along, but star players like Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem were present in their player boxes to watch, what would be the best First Round match of the 2020 Open.
The match lasted 4 hours and 39 minutes.
Murray continually faced break points in the third and fourth sets and held them off with his usual grit and determination.
He faced up and coming star, no. 15 Felix Auger-Alissiame from Canada last night and fell tamely 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 as Alissiame hit 57 winners.
Murray did not feel deterred by the loss and noted that, “I’m more positive about what I could do in Grand Slams than I was before I came over here.”