Debutant in Shanghai having come through qualifying Juan Ignacio Londero set out his stall early on.
The Argentine having a break through year on the main tour gave Andy Murray plenty to think about in the opening game of the match which took 14 minutes for the former champion to hold.
His stubbornness and confidence from the baseline continued to cause issues for Murray and the break that looked inevitable did come as he fell 2-3 and then 2-4 down in the early exchanges.
At 40-0 it looked like a routine hold for Murray following the break in the previous service game but a double and a passing shot led to him face another break point.
A double break was sealed with a double fault again and Londero after 45 minutes would serve for the first set.
The qualifier continued to lash the forehand down the court hitting 11 winners in the first set and sealing the set 6-2 with an ace.
A big hold to begin from Andy Murray at 30-30 to stay ahead on the scoreboard at the beginning of the second set.
Despite some forehand winners once again from Londero some errors snuck in as well as the Brit sat behind the baseline withstanding the pressure.
Something Murray couldn’t find in the opening nine games was his backhand but a first winner and pressure off the two hander forced the error and Murray took an early lead.
A shout of “let’s go” as he sealed a 3-0 lead.
A break point was scuppered in the next game to deny Andy a 4-0 lead but he had to fight from 0-30 to extend his lead to 4-1.
The wheels did look to be coming off for the Argentine down break points but saved them again but continued to make inroads on the Murray but the Brit a game away from taking it to three sets.
Serve it out? He didn’t need to as Murray level at a set each and after a break off court for both would get the final set underway!
Andy Murray may not have been hitting winner after winner of the backhand but he continued to be an improving presence of the two hander.
You can see the difference in dictation towards the baseline compared to the first set but also it wasn’t about just hitting the two hander hard he found a lot of spin to slow down the Argentine.
In the first set, 77% of backhands were top spin and 23% were slice. Second set, 23% top spin and 61% slice.
Londero’s serve quickly went messy and the Brit broke to love as he extended his run to 9 of the last 11 games taking a 3-1 lead in the deciding set.
Down 0-40 Murray shouted some choice of words, I’ll let you be the judge of that…
Two points were saved but the third was taken and suddenly back on serve.
Followed by an intense stare out with his team and a question of Yes or No?
If the question was, will I break now? The answer? Is yes. 4-2 and 5-2 with Murray a game away!
We weren’t done just yet, 5-3 but 15-40 down on serve for the Brit. A wildcard backhand sealed it as Andy Murray won 2-6 6-2 6-3 congratulating Londero for a ‘good fight’ at the net.
A fun match, with a lot of excitement, emotion and brilliant tennis from both as Andy Murray secured his place in the second round of Shanghai.
With that win Andy on the live rankings is back inside the top 250 and will face either Sam Querrey or Fabio Fognini next.