Andy Murray has conceded that his ‘body is old’ having felt the full effects of a gruelling clash with Frances Tiafoe at the European Open on Tuesday. The former British No 1 says he will make the most of a day off on Wednesday before facing No 2 seed Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray defeated Tiafoe after an epic encounter that lasted three hours and 45 minutes in Antwerp.
Each set went to a tiebreaker, with the Scot eventually winning 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (10-8).
Murray believes it is the longest three-set match he has played in his career.
“I think that’s the first time in my career I’ve played a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6. I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” the 34-year-old, who won his last title at this tournament in 2019, said.
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“I think it’s the longest three-set match I’ve played by quite a distance. I’m tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle.
“He kept coming up with brilliant serves and great shots when I was getting chances. I don’t mind playing long matches but that was taking it to another level.”
He continued: “Nowadays my body is old, I have played a lot of matches on the tour – but that was taking it to another level.
“It was a brilliant match with an amazing atmosphere. It is just so nice to be playing in front of crowds again, especially so early in the week.
“Once was with [Jurgen] Melzer at the US Open after I beat him in five sets and we chatted a bit about the match.
“And then once after playing Jarkko Nieminen because we were waiting to speak to the Queen after we played. We were sort of standing next to each other, so we had a chat about the match.”
“[I had] a long chat with Frances afterwards so I’ll probably remember that and then the embrace at the end.
“I guess so much went into it that I don’t remember loads of points in the match, but obviously the end was special.
“I’ve never played a match like that on the tour really… In the locker room we had a much more in-depth chat about tennis, not so much the match… That was kind of rare I would say.”
Murray faces a last-16 tie with Schwartzman, who was beaten by new British No 1 Cam Norrie on his way to winning Indian Wells last week.