After defeating favored Matteo Berrettini in the 1st round, this time the Scot had to fight with last year's doubles champion, the local player Thanasi Kokkinakis. Murray won the thrilling five-setter against the Aussie in the match which laster 5 hours 45 minute and ended up after 4am Australian time.
The match started promisingly for the player from Great Britain, because in the first service game of Kokkinakis he had 3 chances to break his opponent's serve. The Aussie held it, and he was the player who gained the first break in fifth game, the only one in first set. In the second one, the Australian also went on the front foot, taking a 5:4 lead. This time, however, Murray equalized and eventually the set ended in a tie-break. At this time it could seem that the tie-break in the second set could be decisive because the 35-year-old Murray would not be able to recover from 0-2. It was controlled by the Australian from start to the end and after winning 7:3 he was very close to the 3rd round of the tournament. He got even closer to it after quickly breaking his opponent in the second set. Then Andy Murray reminded fans around the world that he never gives up and made a break back. He also did not give up after another loss of service and eventually won in the tie-break of the third set 7:5. The player from Great Britain was pumped up by a great comeback in set 3 and in the next game he continued his great game. Combined with the crisis of the Australian, this resulted with Murray winning 6:3. In fifth set, both men mainly made sure to win their service games. Kokkinakis was much more vulnerable, as he faced four breakpoints in 7th game, but held it for 4-3. It was not enough to secure the super tie-break though, as he failed in his last possible service game. Murray, who played the longest match of his career 4 years after announcing his retirement, won the eighth ball to break the serve, and crossed the line after the miracle comeback ine one of the most epic matches in 111 years of Australian Open history.
It's a bitter loss for Kokkinakis who had it almost in his bag in third set. Being on the last straight to secure easy straight set wins, the Aussie distracted himself with an unnesseccesary dispute with the chair umpire after receiving a violation for exceeding the serve time clock. The favorite of home fans was for sure feeling the hardships of enormous effort put into this amazing battle, but there were moments in decisive set, when he was looking much fresher than Murray who was clearly fighting with the cramps in his body. At the end, it was Kokkinakis who made more mistakes in decisive moments and left the court with the impression of wasting a big chance. The Aussie has not defended too much points from his last year's win of ATP tournament in Adelaide, and he will drop down in ranking to 135th place in best scenario. It means, that he needs to climb through ATP Challenger tournaments once again, or count on receiving wild cards to play on the ATP venues in the recent time.
Murray's next opponent will be Roberto Bautista-Agut. The good news for the Scot is that the Spaniard also played 5 sets today, coming back from two sets down same as Murray, against the qualifier from USA - Brandon Holt. Despite this, every match seems to be an even bigger challenge after spending 10 hours and 45 minutes on the court in just two matches, but it is what Sir Andy likes the most and he showed that no one can never write him off.