Fuming Andy Murray loses gripping China Open clash as Alex de Minaur inflicts further misery on Scot
The 36-year-old Scot, currently ranked 40 in the world, had lost all four of his previous meetings with the Australian, including two matches this year at Queen’s and at the Monte Carlo Masters. It looked like he was going to exact some revenge on the 24-year-old, creating three match points and also serving for it, but he ended up losing 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/2) in Beijing.
Murray was clearly left frustrated by the match, slamming his racket into the ground on one occasion and shouting expletives to his coaching team after failing to serve out the match.
De Minaur started the match the stronger of the two and broke in Murray’s opening service game and went on to take the first set 6-3. Murray recovered well, though, edging ahead in the second set and while he was broken back, he was able to pinch it 7-5 by breaking De Minaur’s serve once again to level the match.
Murray got the all-important break in the fourth game of the final set, but De Minaur saved two match points on his own serve and then broke back when Murray for served for it a 5-3, with Murray venting his fury at the situation. His mood did not improve at the end the match, with the Australian playing some superb tennis to edge the breaker, with Murray once again squandering a match point on his serve.
"To be honest, I don’t know,” De Minaur said when asked how he managed to prevail for a fifth time in a row against Murray. “We both didn’t bring our best tennis, it was an absolute scrapfest. We were both unhappy with our levels but I kept my head screwed on and kept backing myself to find my best level. For now, I’m going to try and switch off from a very dramatic match.”
De Minaur will face either second seed Daniil Medvedev or Tommy Paul in the next round, while Murray moves on to the Shanghai Masters, which begins the week commencing October 2.