Each appearance of Andy Murray in a great tournament as a feast for the eyes, an opportunity to enjoy the character of an eternal champion who has overcome unimaginable adversities to continue enjoying his sport. Your participation in the US Open 2020 aroused great interest and the fact of being measured in the first round at Yosihito Nishioka predicted strong emotions. But all the forecasts fall short before the dramatic encounter that has lived in the Arthur Ashe. The Briton lifted a deficit of two sets and break down, giving a lesson in ambition and love for this sport. The end result was 4-6 4-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4) 6-4.
Stiffness, difficulty moving and constant pessimistic soliloquies. That was the dynamic during first two sleeves, in which the Scotsman was far from his level. Constant unforced errors, lack of intensity and rhythm in his legs and lack of patience to structure the points were the ingredients that seasoned the poor performance of Murray, jaded by the consistency of a rival who knew how to acquire the initiative and moved his rival with intelligence. With a good percentage of first serves, the Japanese only gave up his serve once, but managed to reverse the dynamics to the rest and took a clear advantage of two sets to zero above.
The expected reaction did not arrive, the anger was not channeled into a good game and Yosihito again broke Andy’s serve in the tercer set, which was on the edge of the abyss. It was there, in that terrain where mortals sink into the mud, when the fierce character of an eternal champion emerged from the mud as if it were an erupting volcano. He did not go from nothing to everything in a blink of an eye, but he increased the intensity of his legs, he did not give a point and he believed in himself as he balanced the score. He reached the tiebreak and pulled from experience, intangibles, aura, claw. His tennis did not finish carbure, but he had already done the most difficult thing: sow doubt in his opponent.
Nishioka kept up her pulse and raised her level again in the partial quarter. Long rallies seasoned a game in which Murray began to be more aggressive and go up to the net. He made mistakes of some hasty, but he already dictated what happened. He managed to slip away five break balls against, including a match point, and the Japanese showed signs of despair as he saw how he became entangled in the spider web that only champions like Dunblane can. A new tiebreak was reached and Murray displayed excellent tennis, showing that he can continue to do great things on a tennis court, and took the game into absolute drama.
Fifth set, palpable nerves in the environment. It looked like there might be a coitus interruptus when Nishioka took the lead on the scoreboard and moved 3-2 up and served. But he did it again. Andy Murray honored tennis with a comeback within another, he left his skin on the court and made all tennis fans feel sick to see how a legend of this sport is able to continue winning matches of more than four hours long, even with a metal hip. He will face the winner of the duel between Aliassime and Monteiro in the second round of the US Open 2020.