Andy Murray’s full of set of rackets did not survive his first round in Dubai, but the man throwing them did.
The twice Wimbleton champion struggled to contain his frustration before finally edging past world number 158 Chris O‘ Connell 6-7 6-3 7-5 to make the second round.
Three times he hurled his implement to the floor in the first set, the last earning him a code violation, but it was the same bloody-minded attitude that got him over the line at the end.
Andy Murray is through to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Murray is now on 699 wins, and can make the round number – a major goal of his – if he was to beat either Jannik Sinner or Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina on Wednesday.
It was important for him to get back on track after winning just one game in his previous match, a humbling at the hands of Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut ini Qatar last week.
‚I made it very difficult for myself out there,‘ he admitted later.
The 34-year-old had to dig deep after dropping the first set on a tie break on Monday
Australian Christopher O’Connell (above) came through qualifying to make the main draw
‚I enjoyed the result. What went on in the middle was not so easy.
‚I was very frustrated early in the match. I couldn’t quite find may game and he was dictating a lot of the rallies. But I managed to serve a little bit better as the match went along and that helped me a lot.
‚I’ve spoken to a lot of ex-players and they keep telling me keep playing as long as I can, nothing will replace it. I still feel like I can compete at the highest level.
‚It’s not easy. Physically it’s very challenging for me but winning matches like that is obviously very satisfying.‘