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Tennis-Murray beats Daniel to 700th career win

FILE PHOTO: ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP 500 – Dubai Tennis Championships – Aviation Club Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 21, 2022 Britain’s Andy Murray celebrates victory in his first round match against Australia’s Christopher O’Connell REUTERS/Suhaib Salem/File Photo

March 11, 2022

By Rory Carroll

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Andy Murray overcame a slow start and a break of serve in the third set to beat Taro Daniel 1-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round of Indian Wells on Friday and earn his 700th Achieve career win.

With the win, the Briton was the 18th player of the Open era to do the trick on the ATP Tour.

“That was a goal I set myself at the end of last year,” Murray said in an on-pitch interview.

“Obviously that’s a lot of wins and I’m really happy to have them here.

“Let’s do 800 now.”

It seemed Murray would have to wait to reach the milestone after Daniel came out sharp, attacking Murray’s serve and driving through the opener on a sunny day in the Southern California desert.

Murray, who is three years away from major hip surgery, didn’t move well early on but came to life in the second and broke Daniel on serve when the Japanese player sent a forehand wide at set point to level the match by one set each .

Daniel won eight straight points to open the third and take a 2-0 lead with the help of a sloppy play from the three-time Grand Slam champion.

But Murray didn’t give up, breaking back to 3-3 with a forehand winner and pumping his fist to the delight of the supporting crowd at Stadium One Court.

Daniel seemed to have nerves in the final game where he committed three straight unforced errors to give Murray three match points and the 34-year-old converted his third opportunity to seal the win.

“I had a bit of a slow start,” Murray said.

“I’m old now so with those 11 o’clock starts I need a bit of time to get going.

“But Taro played extremely well. I lost to him in Australia so I expected a tough match,” Murray said of Daniel, who beat the Brit in straight sets in Melbourne in January.

Tournament wildcard Murray is aiming for his 701st win when he takes on Alexander Bublik in the second round of the Masters 1000 tournament on Saturday.

(edited by Christian Radnedge)

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