Murray claims first clay win in five years; Norrie into second round

The two-time Madrid champion won 6-3 6-4 on Monday evening.

Thiem, who spent eight months on the sidelines, was playing only his fourth match this year and the Austrian — winless in 2022 — was far from his best. Thiem made 33 unforced errors, the majority of which came from his forehand.

Murray was the sharper of the two players and after winning 6-3 6-4 the Scot — who recovered from a hip surgery that nearly ended his career — gave Thiem words of encouragement.

“I hope you feel better soon,” Murray told Thiem at the net. “I’m glad to see you back. Keep going, it takes a lot of time but you’ll be fine.”

Earlier, Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner made a great escape when he fought back from a set down and then saved three match points to dispatch American Tommy Paul 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 6-3 in a three-hour battle to move into the second round.

“It was a very difficult situation. I was up in the first set 5-2 and then I lost it,” said Sinner, who will next face Alex de Minaur.

“He played a very good tiebreak. I made a couple of unforced errors at the beginning and the second set was kind of a roller-coaster also.”

Cameron Norrie, meanwhile, reached the second round by beating Soonwoo Kwon in a tough two-set battle.

The British number one survived scares at key intervals, edging the South Korean 7-5 7-5 in just under two hours to tee up a meeting with John Isner in the next round.

Norrie, beaten by Australia’s Alex De Minaur in the quarter-finals at the recent Barcelona Open, quickly fell 3-0 down in the first set against Kwon after losing his opening service game.

The Briton then fought back from 1-4 down, breaking Kwon in the seventh game before levelling at 4-4 and saving two more break points on his serve to make it 5-5.

World number 11 Norrie, making his debut on the clay in Madrid, seized control in the next game by breaking Kwon to love and served out to take the first set in just under an hour.

But 24-year-old Kwon, the world number 73, refused to roll over in the second set.

Both players swapped breaks of serve from 3-3 and after Norrie had broken Kwon for a fourth time in the match to edge 6-5 ahead, he made no mistake on his own serve, sealing a hard-fought victory on his third match point.

Additional reporting from PA

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