Andy Murray beats Taro Daniel for 700th career win

With the victory in the first round of Indian Wells, the Briton became the 18th player of the Open era to achieve the feat on the ATP Tour.

Andy Murray of Great Britain serves against Taro Daniel of Japan in their first round match at Indian Wells on Friday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Andy Murray overcame a slow start and a third set service break to beat Taro Daniel 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of Indian Wells on Friday to notch his 700th career win.

With the victory, the Briton became the 18th player of the Open era to achieve the feat on the ATP Tour.

"This was a target that I set for myself on the back end of last year," Murray said in an on-court interview.

"It's a lot of wins obviously, and I'm very happy to get it here.

"Let's go for 800 now."

It appeared Murray would have to wait to reach the milestone after Daniel came out sharp, attacking Murray's serve and cruising through the first set on a sunny day in the Southern California desert.

READ| Sania Mirza reaches doubles pre-quarterfinals at Indian Wells

Murray, who is three years removed from major hip surgery, did not move well early on but sprang to life in the second, breaking Daniel at love when the Japanese player sent a forehand wide on set point to level the match at a set each.

Daniel won eight straight points to open the third and take a 2-0 lead with help from some sloppy play by the three-time Grand Slam champion.

But Murray would not give in, breaking back with a forehand winner for 3-3 and pumping his fist to the delight of the supportive crowd at Stadium One Court.

Nerves appeared to get to Daniel in the final game, where he committed three straight unforced errors to give Murray three match points, and the 34-year-old converted his third opportunity to seal the win.

"I got off to a bit of a slow start," Murray said.

"I'm old now so with these 11 a.m. starts, it takes me a bit of time to get going.

"But Taro played extremely well. I lost to him in Australia so I was expecting a tough match," Murray said of Daniel, who beat the Briton in straight sets in Melbourne in January.

Tournament wild card Murray will look to notch his 701th win when he faces Alexander Bublik in the second round of the Masters 1000 tournament on Saturday.

In other first round action, Australian Jordan Thompson beat David Goffin in a tight three-setter, Australian John Millman battled past Jan-Lennard Struff and American Sam Querrey bested Tallon Griekspoor.

Boost for Raducanu

Emma Raducanu said she drew inspiration from Murray's bruising come-from-behind victory after she dropped the second set in her match at Indian Wells on Friday.

The two British stars played back-to-back on center court, with the veteran Murray collecting his 700th career victory and the teenage U.S. Open champion winning for the first time in the Southern California desert. "I definitely looked up to him today, especially because I was following him," Raducanu told reporters after her 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over Caroline Garcia.

"I knew he came through some tricky moments and I was thinking of that when I dropped the second set. I was like, 'You can do the same, just keep pushing. I think it was great to follow him in the order of play today."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :