Andy Murray beaten at Australian Open after colossal effort


Andy Murray’s fairy tale run at the Australian Open came to an end on Saturday after being beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut.

The three-time Grand Slam winner thrilled crowds in Melbourne this year by turning back the years to win two marathon matches, but Bautista Agut proved a step too far.

The Spaniard won in four sets – 6-1 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4 – and looked relieved to have finally found a way past his opponent when he won the match point .

Murray had spent more than 10.5 hours on the pitch before the third-round game and he was struggling to get around on points.

The 35-year-old needed five sets to beat Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the tournament, then rallied from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in an epic fight that lasted five hours and 45 minutes and ended ended at 4:05 a.m. The second-round match, which ended Friday morning, was the longest of Murray’s career.

It was therefore no surprise that Murray looked exhausted as he struggled to master the first set which ended before it really started.

But, as he has done throughout his career, Murray dug deep and pulled himself together after a breakdown in the second set to win a stunning tie-break.

It was yet another example of the courage and determination that Murray brings to the sport of tennis but, on this occasion, it just wasn’t enough.

The grueling second set seemed to take its toll on Murray as Bautista Agut had the advantage for the rest of the game.

Murray never left and continued to punish his opponent until the very end and produced a series of stunning blows.

After dropping a match point, Murray received a standing ovation from the crowd as he limped off the field.

The pair previously met at the Margaret Court Arena in 2019 in what was believed to be Murray’s final Grand Slam match.

But the veteran decided to pursue his career and, after receiving multiple treatments for injuries, Murray proved he still had more to give four years later.

“2 days ago I stumbled upon the doctor who in 2017 told me ‘the good news is that the problem you have with your hip can be solved, but you will no longer be able to play sports professional.’ I think we’ve dispelled that myth in the last 5 days,” Murray tweeted after Saturday’s game.

Bautista Agut will now face American Tommy Paul in the round of 16.

“Always playing Andy is very difficult,” said Bautista Agut during his on-court interview.

“He knows very well how to play a Grand Slam match. I’m happy with how I managed the nerves and the tension throughout the match, to play good tennis. I am very happy with the victory. »


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