Murray beats Daniel for 700th ATP win


Andy Murray
Murray is getting back together with former coach Ivan Lendl after the Miami Masters

Andy Murray fought back from a set down to beat Taro Daniel 1-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round at Indian Wells as he secured a 700th win on the ATP Tour.

The Briton passed up two break points in the third game before Daniel took the first set in 28 minutes.

A more aggressive Murray won the second set only to drop his serve in the first game of the decider.

Murray regrouped, levelled at 3-3 with a brilliant forehand and broke Daniel at 5-4 up to take the match.

He will now play Kazakhstan’s world number 33 Alexander Bublik in the next round.

“It means a lot,” Murray told Amazon Prime about reaching 700 wins. “It’s a target I set myself towards the end of last year and, with everything that has gone on in the last few years, it has not been easy to get there.

“Not loads of guys have been able to do that so really happy about it.”

The match was the third time Murray had played Japan’s Daniel this year.

Daniel came out on top in the second round at the Australian Open before Murray won the match between them at the Qatar Open.

In California, world number 88 Murray’s failure to take either of the two break points in the third game of the first set seemed to give Daniel, who is 106 in the men’s rankings, more confidence.

Daniel broke Murray to love in his next two service games to take a 5-1 lead and was making his opponent look lethargic as he served out to convincingly win the opening set in 28 minutes.

Murray responded by breaking his opponent in the first game of the next set and gave a fist pump after securing a double break to go 4-0 up.

More winners were coming from Murray’s racquet as he benefitted from a more positive approach and he took the second set to level the match.

Murray lost a fourth service game to love in the first game of the decider and threw his cap down in frustration when he sent a high volley wide in the fifth game.

But he regained his composure and went on to make it 3-3 with a forehand winner.

Murray saved a break point in the ninth game with a brave second serve that was too much for Daniel to handle and he gave out a roar when he held to go 5-4 up.

Daniel, who completely missed a smash in the first set, shanked another on the first point as he served to stay in the match and, while he saved two match points, he could not do so a third time as Murray won in one hour and 58 minutes.

“He [Daniel] had a couple of matches in the qualifiers and he came out really hot but I was giving him that opportunity by leaving the ball short,” said Murray.

“As the match went on, I started to get closer to the baseline, timing the ball better and I figured it out. It wasn’t easy.”

Murray will get back together again with former coach Ivan Lendl after the Miami Masters later this month.

“He [Lendl] said good luck today – that’s what I got,” said Murray.

“We’ve spoken a bit in the last couple of weeks. We’re officially starting after Miami. We’re hoping he’s going to be able to come along and watch my matches at the tournament there.”

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