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
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn