Andy Murray faces defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas at US Open

Andy Murray lost the match 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Andy Murray in a file photo. (Credits: AFP)

If most matches could be won outside the court, Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ history at the court would be looked at with anguish and pity. People had gone on a limb to deem it as another week, another slice of sheer bad luck for Murray.

Murray went down gracefully as one of the hardest and longest matches in the history of Grand Slam tournament. The third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas rose back from a near loss, to defeat the 2012 champion and former World No 1 Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted four hours and 48-minute at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, hinting at the intensity at which it was played.

“It didn’t come easy,” Tsitsipas said. “Lots of sacrifices I had to make on the court to get back.”

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion is still one of the most feared players and is seen with top most respect when he walks into the room. So, it was evident that Tsitsipas had his inhibitions getting into the match. Two-time Olympic champion Murray, the 2012 US Open and 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner, lost for the first time in 15 first-round US Open.

“To have an electric atmosphere out here is something we’ve been waiting for almost a year,” Tsitsipas said.

“I hope I can keep my game at the same level I had today,” Tsitsipas said.

Set by set defeat for Andy Murray

In the first set, Murray broke two unforced errors on Tsitsipas to get a 4-1 lead, then later hit a forehand volley winner that earned him a set point and had him punching the air five times. That was the sheer level of excitement. It was just a few moments after that when Murray won the set in 42 minutes.

In the second-set tiebreaker, Murray delivered a winner for a 5-3 lead, but slipped at the net during a volley exchange. As a result, he not only lost the point, but his shoes also seemed to be damaged by the slip.

Murray, evidently furious, yelled to his support staff for an extra pair of shoes in the tie-break and complained about inattention to detail after losing the set. The dramatic scene continued as Murray walked off the court during the break while leaving his shoes behind.

Tsitsipas, this year’s French Open runner-up played his game and took a long break before heading into the final set, and frustrated Murray, who surrendered a break in the opening game. Tsitsipas went for the second bathroom break and he did not return for seven minutes. Murray complained to the umpire and supervisor, Gerry Armstrong. Then he immediately lost his serve at the beginning of the final set with a thumping forehand return. From that immediate deficit for Murray, Tsitsipas crunched forehands gave out big serves as he faced pressure. Murray forced a breakpoint in the fourth game but Tsitsipas saved his lead with a forehand to keep the score 3-1. Tsitsipas held the game strong in the fourth round, and Murray’s valiant effort after four hours and 48 minutes and advanced to the second-round match against France’s Adrian Mannarino.

Sportslumo Desk

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