USA TODAY SPORTS: Andy Murray gets 700th career singles victory by beating Taro Daniel at BNP Paribas Open

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – “Let’s go for 800 now.”

That’s what Andy Murray told the early afternoon crowd at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden after notching his milestone 700th career singles victory.

Murray, the 34-year-old Brit, got off to a slow start but regrouped to beat Taro Daniel of Japan 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday in the opening round of the BNP Paribas Open.

On-court commentator Andrew Krasny jokingly asked Murray to go ahead and list all 700 wins after the match.

“About five or six years ago, I could remember all my matches and all the points, but now I struggle to remember what happened last week,” Murray said. “So (700 wins) was a target I sort of set for myself at the back half of last year and obviously very happy to get it here.”

Andy Murray hits a shot during his match against Taro Daniel at the BNP Paribas Open.© Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun Andy Murray hits a shot during his match against Taro Daniel at the BNP Paribas Open.ANDY MURRAY: Tennis star pledges to donate rest of 2022 prize money to UNICEF Ukraine fund

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Murray becomes the 18th man to reach the 700-win milestone and the first-ever Brit.

No. 700 didn’t come easy. Daniel, who beat Murray in Australia and has an Indian Wells win over Novak Djokovic to his name, stormed out of the gate, winning the first set 6-1.

But Murray got his feet under him and won the first four games of the second set to win it 6-2, and that set up a tense final set. Daniel earned an early break, but a forehand winner in the sixth game by Murray allowed him to break back and tie the set at 3-3.

In the ninth game with the score tied 4-4, Murray got frustrated during his service game when he had to delay a serve because a patron was being ushered into the luxury box behind the court. He lost the next point and fell behind 40-30, but he fought back and when he eventually won that game he let out a roar and a fist pump to go up 5-4.

Murray then jumped out 40-0 in his break attempt to win the match and on the third match point, Daniel hit a shot long and Murray was able to celebrate for good.

Murray may also be the beneficiary of good karma. He announced earlier this week that he will donate all of his prize money for 2022 to Ukrainian aid. If you’re keeping a tote board, that will now mean at worst $30,130 if he loses his next match.

Murray will now face No. 31 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan on Sunday.

Seeded women start with wins

Iga Swiatek: The No. 3 seed from Poland lost her first set to Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina but then won 12 of the next 13 games to turn it into an easy win 5-7, 6-0, 6-1.

Simona Halep: The 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion was also pushed to three sets, but the No. 24 seed here emerged with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia.

Sorana Cirstea: A Romanian just like Halep, Cirstea topped Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 7-5 to move into the next round.

Seeded losers

Karolina Pliskova: The No. 7 seed from the Czech Republic was knocked out in the first round by Danka Kovinic 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Tamara Zidansek: The Slovakian who was seeded No. 19 was upset in the first round by Croatian Petra Martic.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Andy Murray gets 700th career singles victory by beating Taro Daniel at BNP Paribas Open

Andy Murray gets 700th career singles victory by beating Taro Daniel at BNP Paribas Open (msn.com)

 

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