Murray battles back to reach quarter-finals but suffers injury scare


ndy Murray was given a real scare before battling past Max Purcell at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who is extending his grass-court season to try and build up ranking points as he targets a seeding at the US Open, was in serious danger of losing to the world number 202 when he was a set and a break down at 6-4 2-0.

But Murray, who was furious with some questionable line calls throughout, showed his trademark grit and resilience again to win 12 of the next 13 games and seal a 4-6 6-2 6-1 win over the Australian.

However, he looked to have picked up an injury in the second set and was limping heavily at the end of the match, which would curb what would have been realistic ambitions of going even deeper in a tournament that is missing most of the biggest names on the tour, with world number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime the top seed. Third seed Alexander Bublik is next up in the last eight if Murray is fit.

It could have been a much shorter day’s work for the 35-year-old had he converted four break points in Purcell’s opening service game. The Australian held, though, and then rattled off four more successive games to lead 5-1 in the first set.

Murray made a fight of it and won the three next games before Purcell eventually served the set out to take it 6-4.

When the Scot was broken in a marathon first game of the second set, the writing looked on the wall, especially when Purcell consolidated the break to go 2-0 up.

But his fighting instincts came to the fore, taking complete control of the match as he reeled off all but one of the next 13 games to get the win, though it remains to be seen at what cost.

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