Australian Open 2014: Andy Murray wins 23 consecutive points to clinch victory over Vincent Millot and move into third round

Murray won 6-2 6-2 7-5 after coming from 5-1 down in the third set

You have to win 24 points in a row to achieve tennis perfection – a “golden set” is won 6-0 without dropping a point – and Andy Murray went close to doing his version of the achievement at the Australian Open on Thursday. The 26-year-old Scot won the last 23 points of his second-round match against France’s Vincent Millot, though he did so only after digging himself out of trouble in a remarkable third set.

Millot, who is the French No 25, had gone two sets down when he decided to throw caution to the wind. The 27-year-old world No 267 forced a set point after racing into a 5-1 lead, only for Murray to play superbly on the next 23 points and win the match. Having saved the set point with a backhand winner, Murray went on to win six games in a row and clinch the match 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 to earn a third-round meeting with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez on Saturday.

“I was trying to remind myself when I was 5-1 down that if I could just hang in there and weather the storm a little bit, I might be able to come back,” Murray said afterwards. “At 6-5 when I went to serve for it someone shouted out: ‘You’ve won 19 points in a row.’ I would say that’s probably the most I’d ever won in my career by far. It’s a very difficult thing to do. I don’t really know how I did it.”

The American Bill Scanlon is the only man who has won a “golden set” in the Open era, when he beat Brazil’s Marcos Hocevar at Delray Beach in 1983. Yaroslava Shvedova became the first woman to perform the feat in the Open era when she beat Sara Errani at Wimbledon two summers ago.

A patchy performance by Murray was partly explained by the conditions. After temperatures in excess of 43C during the day, the roof over Rod Laver Arena was shut in the afternoon. In the early evening there was a thunder storm and by the time Murray and Millot went on court just before 10pm – with the roof open again – the humidity had soared. The temperature had fallen, but the air temperature was still a steamy 28C.

“It was so humid,” Murray said. “It changed the way the court and the balls played a lot. It was heavier. There were a lot of balls in the net today. It slowed everything down a bit.”

 

Millot came out fighting in the third set Millot came out fighting in the third set  

Murray has beaten Lopez in all seven of their previous meetings, though the 32-year-old Spaniard ran him close over four sets at the US Open two summers ago. “He’s got a great serve,” Murray said. “He obviously comes to the net a bit. He has a different game style to pretty much all of the guys nowadays.”

Millot also has a different hair style nowadays, having shorn off his flowing locks. “I was in the ice bath with him after our first-round match and talking to him about it,” Murray said. “He got the all-clear from his girlfriend before he did it – no bets or New Year resolutions. For me his hair was something that made him Feliciano. He’s a bit different now.”  Lopez, who admitted he would have to “do something different and go for it” in order to reverse his fortunes against Murray, said he might let his hair grow again but had not decided. “We’ll see,” he said. “If I keep winning I will leave it like this.”

Play on a weather-hit day went past midnight and the biggest shock came at the end. Juan Martin del Potro, the world No 5, became the first major casualty in the men’s draw when he lost 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to Spain’s Roberto world No 62 Bautista Agut.

During the hottest part of the day Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer took advantage of more comfortable conditions as the retractable roofs over the two main stadiums were shut. Nadal beat the Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in Rod Laver Arena, while Federer beat Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 6-2,  6-1, 7-6 in Hisense Arena. It was the first time in 10 years that Federer has played a match here on any court other than Rod Laver Arena. 

 

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?