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Miami Open: Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka, and Andy Murray Surge Forward

During his 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph on Wednesday at the Miami Open, Andy Murray overcame Matteo Berrettini in another long encounter. Berrettini looked tired and had to rely on his racket to stay upright.

In his ATP Tour debut, Berrettini was serving as Murray led 5-2 in the second set when he appeared lightheaded and rested his racket on the ground to support himself. A medical attendant came to check on him and took his blood pressure before the play started.

Despite losing that set, Berrettini was able to complete the two hours and forty-nine-minute match before leaving the court.

The first round of the 2023 Australian Open saw a replay of Murray’s 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-6) triumph, which took place over more than 4½ hours.

Murray remarked, “It was obviously a great win for me,” “Started off a little bit slow but then I did think I played pretty well across then end of the first set through to the end of the match. Created a lot of opportunities and he was struggling for a little bit end of the second and beginning of the third, and I capitalized on that and got off to a quick start in the third and served it out well at the end.”

A victim of injuries, Berrettini hadn’t participated in a tour match since having to withdraw from his match in the US Open’s second round the previous year. The runner-up at Wimbledon in 2021 made a comeback last week and advanced to the Challenger Tour championship match in Phoenix.

Murray, 36, is one of just two active players with 30 victories at the event, along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Murray has won the title twice in Miami. In the second round, the three-time Grand Slam champion will take on Tomas Martin Etcheverry, the No. 29 seed.

In her Miami comeback, two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3, 6-4. In her next match in 2022, the runner-up to Iga Swiatek went on to face No. 15 seed Elina Svitolina in the second round.

In another match on the first full day of the competition, former US Open women’s champion Sloane Stephens defeated Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3 to mark her 31st birthday. In other matches, American Danielle Collins and Shelby Rogers advanced with three-set wins, and Donna Vekic defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

Men’s winners included Martin Damm Jr., who defeated Zhang Zhizhen of China 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3), and Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Luciano Darderi 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4.

First-round byes were granted to the 32 seeded players. The No. 2 seed, Aryna Sabalenka, is anticipated to face Paula Badosa in her debut match on Friday.

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