Dominik Koepfer talks Andy Murray win after being drafted into match just two hours before

Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring

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Dominik Koepfer has spoken about his “unbelievable” experience of beating Andy Murray at the Rolex Paris Masters despite playing the match at just two hours notice. Koepfer, 27, failed to qualify for the tournament but was given an unexpected reprieve when American Jenson Brooksby, who was originally scheduled to face Murray, withdrew at the 11th hour with an abdominal injury.

A thrilling three-set contest ensued, with the German player first throwing away a winning position before managing to save seven match points, and he eventually prevailed 6-4 5-7 7-6.

“I heard about it (Brooksby’s injury) at 4 o’clock. I was about to go back to the hotel and then one of the ATP tour managers texted me, ‘Dom, you in? You’re playing against Andy Murray’,” Koepfer explained in his post-match interview.

“Honestly, I was a little nervous. I didn’t expect to play today, I was hoping that someone was going to pull out tomorrow.

“But a night match here in Paris, a lot of fans, they had an unbelievable crowd, the first time for me for a while. It’s been a great day. Unexpected, but it worked out and I’m happy.” 

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Last week, Koepfer also qualified for the Vienna Open as a lucky loser, but there he wasn’t able to capitalise as he was well beaten by Lorenzo Sonego.

He admitted to being low on confidence ahead of his clash with three-time Grand Slam winner Murray, but hopes now the victory can prove the catalyst for him to push on.

“I was struggling the past few matches, actually lost five times within the past week. I got in as a double lucky loser last week, lost four times: two times in doubles, two times in singles. That was not great, you lose some confidence,” he said.

“Coming through with such a great fight, good attitude — I competed hard and played pretty good tennis — I think it was pretty big for me.” 

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Koepfer, who reached the third round of both Wimbledon and the French Open this year, looked set for a surprisingly quick win as he served for the match at 6-4 5-3, but was then broken to love before Murray, 34, broke him again to take the set.

At 5-4 in the decider Koepfer had to save two match points on his own serve and then survived five more in the final-set tie-break, but he eventually came through a rollercoaster of a contest.

“It was unbelievable. I thought I had it in my hands in the second set serving for it at 5-4. He just made a lot of balls, I didn’t make a lot of balls. That was the difference, and it was just a great fight in the third set,” he added.

“I just tried to stay in the moment and tried to play every point. Obviously it’s tough to play against him. He makes so many balls and is an unbelievable competitor.”

Murray meanwhile, refused to blame his defeat on a late change of opponent: “I found out post-practice, so that potentially could explain the slow start. But then, once I was into the match, I just made mistake after mistake.”

Koepfer will now await to find out his second round opponent, either ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or Italian Gianluca Mager.

It was Mager, ironically, who beat him in the final round of qualifying last week in Austria.

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