Former world No.1 Andy Murray has outlasted qualifier Taro Daniel 1-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open for his 700th career victory.
Murray, who received a wild card into the desert tournament, twice came from behind in the nearly two-hour match.
He overcame a 1-3 deficit in the third set, winning five of the final six games.
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The match marked Murray’s first appearance since confirming he is to link up with Ivan Lendl for a third time and the duo will have plenty to work on after a first set in which the Scot was distinctly second best.
“I’m old now so these 11am. starts, it takes me a bit of time to get going,” Murray joked in his post-match interview. “But Taro played extremely well. He’s started the year very well.”
“I managed to start to improve as each set went on,” Murray said, “and finished off well in the end.”
Murray broke Daniel to tie the set at three-all. The 34-year-old Scottish star led 40-love in the last game before closing it out on his third match point.
It was their third meeting this year. Ranked 106th, Daniel has won at the Australian Open while Murray, now 88th in the world, won in Doha last month.
“He’s a very unorthodox player,” added Murray. “He’s unbelievably talented, got great hand skills and plays different to a lot of guys on the Tour these days.
“He started this year well, but if I play well, I’ve got a shot.”
Murray has never won at Indian Wells. His best finish came in 2009, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in the final. He was a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2015, losing to Novak Djokovic both times.
The Brit now joins Roger Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in the exclusive 700 club.