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Murray fails to create break point opportunity for first time since 2014 French Open semi-final vs Rafael Nadal
Last Updated: 04/09/20 6:01am
Andy Murray’s US Open dreams came to a crushing end as exciting Canadian prospect Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed a convincing straight-sets (6-2 6-3 6-4) win in the early hours of Friday morning.
Murray headed into his second-round encounter having endured a marathon five-set win over Yoshihito Nishioka, in his first Grand Slam singles match since career-saving hip surgery 20 months ago.
The near five-hour battle appeared to take its toll on the former world No 1 as 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, ranked 21 in the world, produced a sublime performance to win 6-2 6-3 6-4 under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The writing was on the wall for the three-time Grand Slam champion against a player 13 years his junior from the very start as Auger-Aliassime struck 24 aces and 52 winners on his way to victory with Murray failing to create a single break point opportunity in the entire match.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I wish the fans were here,” said Auger-Aliassime. “Life is funny, I came here as a kid in 2011 and it’s crazy that nine years later I’m here getting the win.
“I think it’s all come together. We’ve been away from tennis for five months and I’ve been working on my serve. Even with nerves I was able to serve well.
“But in the back of your mind you know you are facing Andy Murray. You never know what tricks he’s got in his pocket. To close it out is not easy. You’re facing a great champion.”
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Murray: Match Stats
|Felix Auger-Aliassime||Match Stats||Murray|
|89%||1st serve win percentage||56%|
|63%||2nd serve win percentage||58%|
|4/9||Break points won||0/0|
|12/19||Net points won||10/15|
|97||Total points won||68|
Murray knew what he was up against just 10 minutes into the match, after Auger-Aliassime held serve to love before securing a break in game two.
Murray had earmarked Auger-Aliassime’s serve as a weakness in his game, but it was impeccable. Murray, one of the finest returners the sport has ever seen, did not create a single break point.
Auger-Aliassime ran away with the first set in 41 minutes, the youngster hitting 18 winners to Murray’s one.
Even Murray at his peak, without the beaten up toes and exhausted body which left him desperate for an ice bath after his exertions against Nishioka, might have struggled to chase down some of the ground strokes exploding off the 15th seed’s racket.
Murray stayed in the second set until 3-4, when Auger-Aliassime secured another break before booming down an ace to go 2-0 up.
Unlike the scene 48 hours ago, this time there was to be no heroic fightback. There was simply not enough left in the tank.
In 2011, Auger-Aliassime had watched from the Arthur Ashe stands as Murray beat Feliciano Lopez en route to the semi-finals.
Nine years on, at the same venue, he found what was arguably a career-best performance to stub out Murray’s hopes of a second Open title.
Murray said: “He kind of played how I expected. He’s a big guy. He takes the ball on. There’s obviously fairly quick conditions here, as well. I expected him to play that way.
“He maybe served a little bit better tonight than he had in the last couple of weeks, which helped.
“He got quite a lot of free points with the first serve, and then even when I was getting a racket on it he was able to dictate off the first shot of the rally, as well.
“Physically, you know, I actually did pretty well I thought in the first round. But I think the more tournaments that you play, the more matches that you play, you build up that sort of robustness in your body which right now I don’t really have.”
There was frustration for British No 1 Dan Evans, whose match with Corentin Moutet of France was halted by rain.
An entertaining, feisty encounter was finely poised at 4-6 6-3 5-6 with Evans serving to take the third set to a tie-break. They will return on Friday.