Jack Whitehall Leads Tributes To Andy Murray After Brit Emerges Through Five-set, Five Hour Epic

Tributes have been paid to Andy Murray after he came through a five-hour, 45 minute, five-set classic to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of the Australian Open.

The five-time finalist found himself two sets down and staring down the barrel of an early exit, seemingly suffering from the effects of his first-round match which had gone the distance. 

However, in typical Murray fashion he rallied with a series of remarkable defensive games while also taking advantage of his opponent’s inability to keep a calm head in the decisive moments to prevail 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 7-5. 

The Brit rolled back the years to produce a masterclass in never-say-die tennis in early hours

Andy Murray emerged from the rubble of a remarkable five-hour epic at 4:05am in Melbourne

Moments of frustration did intersperse the epic battle, with Murray filmed losing his cool at the umpire for not allowing him to go for a toilet break despite playing in the early hours of the morning. Murray’s determination thereafter was evident, with the Brit seemingly driven on by his experiences at the very same tournament four years prior when it looked as though his career was over. 

Comedian Jack Whitehall led the tributes, writing on social media: Wow. Andy Murray may have a dodgy hip and dicky ankles but he has a tremendous set of giblets on him. Inspirational.’

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Robert MacIntyre, a professional golfer, echoed Whitehall’s sentiments, calling the Brit ‘superhuman’. 

‘Tell you one thing, Murray is superhuman,’ the five-time Australian Open finalist’s fellow Scot wrote.

Kokkinakis himself simply wrote on social media: ‘This f****** sport, man.’ 

Meanwhile, Billie Jean King led the tributes from the tennis fraternity. She praised his ‘guts and glory’.   

‘Congratulations to Andy Murray on winning his longest match ever at the Australian Open,’ she wrote. 

‘All guts and glory on his greatest comeback!’

Murray looked to be struggling early on to keep up with his significantly younger opponent

Murray looked to be struggling early on to keep up with his significantly younger opponent

Murray wasn't best pleased by the 4am finish and he went back to bed following treatment

He at times appeared disconsolate in between change overs as he toiled to stay in the match

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Piers Morgan jokingly wrote ‘congrats, old man’ in reference both to his relative senior years in tennis terms as well as his metal hip and other ailments that he so remarkably overcame to win yet another Grand Slam match. 

The brother of John, Patrick McEnroe, simply wrote: Andy Murray everyone. ANDY MURRAY.’

While Geoff Thomas said Murray’s success was proof that you should ‘never give up.’

‘Incredible performance. Nearly 6hrs on the court,’ he wrote. Proof that you should never give up. Amazing on so many fronts #braveheart.’

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Sportsmail’s Mike Dickson called the performance the ‘greatest physical effort of his career’, seemingly overriding other mammoth efforts in the Australian heat as well his three Grand Slam title wins. 

‘Victory at 4.05am. What an extraordinary human being Andy Murray is,’ he wrote. ‘The greatest physical effort of his career, amazing.’

The LTA, the governing body for British tennis, congratulated the country’s most significant ever player, writing in reference to his match-winning moment: ‘This moment. What a total hero.’ 

Earlier in the epic tie, Murray had rallied from two sets down thanks in large part to a remarkable defensive effort on his serve when already two games down in the third set. 

One observer on social media noted the rally, which saw Murray against all the odds return a number of seemingly certain Kokkinakis winners, summed up his entire career. 

‘Andy Murray’s career explained in a single point. Oh my goodness!’ they wrote.   

Others also marvelled at both the spirited, but also ridiculous, nature of Murray’s victory. It was only four years ago at this very tournament that he left the court in floods of tears, with his career seemingly over owing to plethora of injuries. 

‘Had time to eat lunch, write 2 lists, bake 3 cakes & make 3 drinks, use the loo 4 times, punch the air 1,000 times & use up a year’s worth of expletives in the 5 hours 30 mins it took Murray to win his 2nd round match. F****** smashed it Andy!’ one supporter noted.

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