Andy Murray continued his return to action with his second victory in three days at the ATP Biella Challenger Tour event in Italy.
The Scot should have been competing at the Australian Open but he was not allowed to travel to Melbourne after testing positive for COVID-19 and was then unable to find a “workable quarantine” to play at the Grand Slam after recovering.
Therefore he headed for the Biella Challenger Indoor in northern Italy where, as top seed and after edging Maximilian Marterer over three sets in the first round on Tuesday, he completed his second win at the event.
Murray was given a stiff test by world No 234 Gian Marco Moroni, but he did enough to win 6-4 6-4 in front of a handful of people on the Palapajetta Court, although he will be disappointed to have only taken three out of the 12 break point chances he created in the match.
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👊 @andy_murray rolls on in Biella
Andy battled past Gian Marco Moroni 6-4, 6-4 at the @ATPChallenger event #BackTheBrits 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/I4PpILPnWU
Murray moved a double break up in the first set to open up a 5-2 lead and he appeared to be cruising. But the big-hitting Italian, who is currently ranked 234 in the world, won the next two games to close the gap on the three-time Grand Slam champion.
However, some clutch points under pressure handed the Scot the set as he served it out at the second attempt in 54 minutes.
Moroni was hanging on early in the second set but he successfully managed to save a seventh break point of the contest to stay ahead at 3-2.
An eighth break point opportunity came and went on Moroni’s next service game but Murray eventually took his opportunity in the ninth game before serving out the match in one hour and 52 minutes to move through to the next round.
The current world No 124 will take on 30-year-old Slovenian Blaz Rola in the quarter-finals on Friday.
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Murray was able to play only seven official matches in 2020 because of a lingering pelvic injury, and the five-month suspension of the tours caused by the pandemic.
He is also entered into the second of two Challenger tournaments being held in the small northern Italian city from February 15.
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