Fired-up Murray tops Mello at Hall of Fame tourney

Updated: July 11, 2006, 7:13 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Top-seeded Andy Murray survived five match points to beat Ricardo Mello, 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (5) in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championship on Tuesday.

Murray, 19, overcame inconsistent play and some temper tantrums to erase Mello's 5-2 lead in the third set.

"I managed to tough it out at the end, but it wasn't a great match," Murray said. "I knew I could break him, but I probably wasn't expecting -- to be honest -- to come back down 2-5."

Mello broke Murray in the third game of the final set, slipping in a backhand passing shot to go up 2-1. He broke again in the seventh game when Murray's return was ruled just wide. At that point Murray banged his racket on the grass surface a few times before biting the end of it to avoid yelling.

Murray broke Mello in the eighth and 10th games, tying the set at 5-all. He was broken back the next game and issued a court violation and point penalty after banging his racket to the ground near the net.

After the penalty, Murray won the next three points before the game went to deuce nine times. Murray fought off five match points in the process.

"I probably deserved a warning," Murray said. "I was surprised I got a point penalty."

Murray went up 3-0 in the tiebreaker before Mello won the next five points. Murray finally won when Mello hit a backhand volley into the net, ending the 2-hour, 2-minute match.

Earlier in the year, Great Britain was fined $2,500 after Murray swore at a chair umpire at a Davis Cup match.

In another first-round match, Mark Philippoussis, who fell out of the top 100 for the second consecutive season last year due to injuries, upset No. 3 seed Paul Goldstein, 6-4, 6-2.

Second seed Ivo Karlovic was eliminated when he retired with a left knee injury in the third set down 2-4 against George Bastl. Wayne Arthurs downed Kenneth Carlson, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1) and eighth-seeded Justin Gimelstob beat Wesley Whitehouse, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two other opening-round matches.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press