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Andy Murray reaches the quarter-finals of the Citi Open early Friday morning in Washington, D.C.

Murray Breaks Down In Tears After Reaching Washington QF

Scot will face Aussie De Minaur on Friday

How much does this all mean to Andy Murray?

The Scot fought for more than three hours against Marius Copil on Thursday, eventually beating the big-serving Romanian 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4) at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. They finished at 3:02 a.m. local time, the latest finish ever at the Citi Open, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

After the match, though, Murray, who's playing in only his third tournament since the 2017 Wimbledon, showed how much he's missed the sport. The Scot became overwhelmed with emotions, at first dabbing away tears after embracing Copil at the net.

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But then Murray, sitting by himself on his bench, sobbed for minutes into his towel. The dozens of remaining fans cheered and clapped for the Scot, who is back to fighting for every point and loving every moment of it.

“Just the emotions coming at the end of an extremely long day and a long match,” Murray said.

The former World No. 1, who underwent hip surgery on 8 January, will next meet Australia's #NextGenATP star Alex de Minaur, who beat 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

De Minaur had to do double duty on Thursday, finishing off American Steve Johnson before facing Chung. But Murray's match takes tournament bragging rights. The previous latest end time in Washington, D.C., was 2:27 a.m.

"Body doesn't feel great right now; I've had a few long matches," Murray said. "The weather has been tricky for the scheduling. But It's a very difficult position to be coming back from a long injury to be finishing matches at 3 o'clock in the morning. By the time you finish doing recovery and everything it's 5.30 or 6 o'clock in the morning.

"I'll try to sleep as late as I can but with your body clock you might get a few hours sleep. It's like playing two matches in a day."

Read More: De Minaur Leads #NextGenATP Charge Into Washington QF

Murray certainly had to want it against Copil, who made him work for the quarter-final berth. The big-serving Romanian was the more aggressive player in the opener, taking early leads in Murray's service games and seeing four break points.

But Murray erased them all and led 5/0 in the tie-break before Copil climbed back into it, hitting a drop volley winner on set point. Murray, however, showed no hangover. He broke in the first game and cut down on his mistakes, slicing his unforced error count almost in half and forcing a decider.

The two traded breaks halfway through the final set before reaching another tie-break, where Murray grew more vocal by the point until Copil sliced a backhand into the net.

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