Former world No 1 Andy Murray battled past American Frances Tiafoe in a 3hr 45min marathon to reach the second round of the European Open in Antwerp.
Murray, winner of the tournament in 2019 on his comeback from hip surgery, progressed through an epic contest 7-6 (2), 6-7 (7), 7-6 (8).
It was the longest best-of-three-set match of 2021, breaking the mark set by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona Open final.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” Murray said in his on-court interview.
“I think it’s the longest three-set match I’ve played by quite a distance and I’m tired right now.
“Nowadays obviously my body is old now. I’ve played a lot of matches on the Tour. I don’t mind playing long matches, but that was taking it to another level.”
Murray next faces second seed Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-finals.