WATCH: Another day, another Andy Murray three-setter—this time against qualifier Roman Safiullin in Basel.


In his first appearance at the Swiss Indoors Basel since 2005, Andy Murray decided to pay homage to the city’s beloved sporting hero—sort of.

Before kicking off his campaign with a first-round epic, which saw Murray claw his way back to a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 win against qualifier Roman Safiullin, the Scot found time to troll good friend and former rival Roger Federer with a few text messages.

"I messaged Roger, when I landed in Basel and I said: ‘I just touched down in the city of one of the world's greatest ever athletes: Granit Xhaka,’” Murray told Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung.

“I know that Granit Xhaka is from here, I’m a huge Arsenal fan. Xhaka is playing really, really well this season. He scored another wonderful goal on Sunday."

The footballer also seemed to enjoy the shout out, resharing a post about Murray’s quotes on his Instagram Story.

Xhaka is, of course, not the only famous sporting champion to come out of Switzerland’s third largest city—that title goes to the recently retired Federer, who racked up 20 Grand Slams during his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Federer also owns the record for most wins in Basel, lifting the trophy in 2006-2008, 2010-2011, 2014-2015 and 2017-2019.

Murray will next face No. 6 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round of the ATP 500.