Exactly 28 day ago in Shenzhen, Andy Murray and Tommy Robredo each had a lot to lose when they stepped on court to play the final of the inaugural Shenzhen Open. Both were looking to win their first tour title in over a year, while Murray was contesting his first final since winning Wimbledon in 2013.
The two did battle for over two-and-a-half hours, and drama was of the highest order as Murray saved five match points to claim a 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-1 win. When the two advanced to Sunday’s final at the Valencia Open 500, many wondered if their latest encounter would come close to topping their saga in Shenzhen.
They did just that.
In stunning déjà vu, Murray again saved five match points against the Spaniard: two in the second set tiebreak and three in the final set breaker, sandwiched between losing a match point of his own at 5-4 in the third. When all was said and done, Murray came out on top in a 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(8) final to claim his third title in five weeks.
The match, which eventually clocked in at 3:20, was the longest final in an ATP World Tour event this year.
While many in North America slept, and those in Europe cooked Sunday breakfast, Shenzhen’s drama unfolded in a time zone less than ideal for most of the tennis Twitterati. First ball in Valencia was struck at 3 pm local time, allowing Twitter’s resident commentariats to do what they do best.
There was snark.
Which soon turned to desperation and confusion.
When it was all said and done, there were #statz aplenty.
And, well, this.
Following the match, Robredo reacted exactly as a man who had been denied 10 match points in two finals would: he flipped Murray the bird. With both hands. (All in good fun and spirits, of course.)
And then they hugged, because #men.
With the win, Murray vaults into 5th place in the race to the ATP World Tour Finals in London. His fate largely rests in his hands as the ATP heads to the final Masters 1000 event of the year in Paris next week.