Murray rallies to edge Zhang in Kooyong superbreaker

ADELAIDE (Reuters): Five-times Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray finally got his first victory of the year with a 2-6 6-3 10-2 super tiebreaker win over Zhang Zhizen at the Kooyong Classic exhibition event on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old twice Wimbledon champion was ousted in the opening round of the Adelaide International warm-up event last week and looked to be heading for another defeat when he went a set down to the Chinese world number 97.

The Briton rallied to level up the contest, however, and raced away with the super tiebreaker to seal the win in just over an hour.

“He served well and was taking my time away but I managed to gradually improve as the match went on,” Murray said, before explaining why he was still playing.

“I still love hitting tennis balls, I’m fortunate I’m able to do it at a high level, it’s not the level that it was five or six years ago but … I love the sport.”

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem also got his first win at Kooyong, beating American world number 17 Francis Tiafoe 7-6(4) 6-2.

The Austrian, on the comeback trail after a serious wrist injury, said that while he was not back at his best, the win showed he was “going in the right direction”.

Play returned to the outside courts at the Auckland Open warm up on Wednesday after being moved indoors with no crowds on Tuesday because of Cyclone Hale.

The opening second round match on the main showcourt lasted only one set before Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who was trailing 6-1 to American Jenson Brooksby, withdrew with a leg injury.

Top seed Casper Ruud is due to make his first appearance of the tournament against Laslo Djere in the evening session, although rain was playing havoc with the schedule.

In the other ATP warm-up tournament in Adelaide, top seed Andrey Rublev will face local defending champion Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round later on Wednesday.