Recap: Andy Murray [1/WC] def. Maximilian Marterer 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3
While the rest of the Brits were toiling in the Aussie sunshine with mixed fortunes, former World No. 1 Andy Murray was on a beige coloured court doing battle at the Biella 1 Challenger, facing World No. 203 Maximilian Marterer.
Unable to fly out to Australia having tested positive for coronavirus days before he was due to fly out, Murray was competitive in his opener. Despite not facing a break point on his service games, he was unable to convert two chances of his own and was edged out in the first set tiebreak.
Going the long way round is nothing new for Murray who broke early in the second set and was a lot more consistent where his opponent started racking up the errors in the decider.
Preview: Murray v Gian Marco Moroni | H2H: First Meeting
Next for him is some home-grown competition in Gian Marco Moroni. The Italian started his year trying his hand at the Australian Open qualifying rounds but lost in he second round, before returning to the clay Challengers in Antalya before coming back to Italy.
Murray had played just seven official matches in 2020, partly down to the lingering pelvic injury and the five-month tour suspension due to the global pandemic. Moroni had a better start to 2020 than his 2019, where he had just one back-to-back win, and had a best last year of a semi-final in the Todi Challenger.
Moroni comes from tennis-playing stock in his family and although is favourite surface is clay, he can find his way around a hard indoor court.
Again on paper this should be a comfortable win for the Brit, but it will be interesting to see if he can get the job done more efficiently this time.
Prediction: Murray in straight sets.
Murray and Moroni are scheduled on PalaPajetta Court, not before 4:30pm (3:30pm GMT)
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