The victory extended the Brit's run to six straight ATP Tour events with at least one win, his semifinal showing at Sydney in January still his best result of the season.
Indian Wells: Former world No. 1 and winner of three Grand Slam singles titles, 34-year-old Andy Murray, earned his 700th career win, battling back twice to earn a hard-fought 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over qualifier Taro Daniel of Japan in the first-round matchup at the BNP Paribas Open here.
The victory extended the Brit’s run to six straight ATP Tour events with at least one win, his semifinal showing at Sydney in January still his best result of the season.
“I’m old now so these 11 a.m. starts, it takes me a bit of time to get going,” the 34-year-old said after the match on Friday night. “But Taro played extremely well. He’s started the year very well,” Murray, the two-time Wimbledon champion, said to atptour.com.
Murray had lost to the Japanese world No. 106 at the Australian Open but defeated him in Doha last month. Knowing that Daniel beat Serbian world No.2 Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells in 2018, he was expecting a tough match here.
“I managed to start to improve as each set went on,” Murray said, “and finished off well in the end.”
Murray will next face 31st seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. The Brit is 2-0 in his ATP head-to-head against the 24-year-old, including a straight-set win in Rotterdam last month.
“He’s a very unorthodox player. He’s unbelievably talented, got great hand skills and plays different to a lot of guys on the tour these days,” Murray said. “He started this year well, but if I play well, I’ve got a shot.”
Murray improved to 28-13 at Indian Wells, though he has never won the event. His best result came in 2009, when he reached the final but lost to Spanish stalwart Rafael Nadal. He reached the semifinals in 2007 and 2015, losing to Djokovic on both occasions.