Murray loses to Spanish player Verdasco in Australian Open pre-quarters

January 26th, 2009 - 4:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Jan.26 (ANI): British tennis star Andy Murrays dream of lifting the Australian Open has ended. He lost to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 2-6, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
According to The Telegraph, Murray struggled throughout his match against Verdasco, making uncharacteristic errors from both flanks.
It was a fantastic result for Verdasco, the No14 seed from Spain, whose powerful forehand and dangerous serve held up under pressure. Verdasco will now face either James Blake or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight. Before today, Murray had never lost to Verdasco on five previous occasions, and got off to a good start in Melbourne.
But after taking the first set 6-2, the second did not start well for Murray, who had suffered with a sore throat and headaches prior to his third round match against Jurgen Melzer.
He was broken in the second game when he fired a volley long and never really recovered. He had the opportunity to break back immediately, but he fired long then Verdasco blasted two forehand winners to take the game and a 3-0 lead.
The fourth game was a mammoth affair. Murray saved five separate break points, and spurned four chances to hold serve, as a mixture of Verdasco winners and Murray’’s missed shots took the game to nine deuces.
Verdasco finally got the breakthrough with a smash to the back of the court and took a 4-0 lead when his cross court pass was left by the Scot.
Murray responded quickly to break back immediately, but again could not hold serve as he was lobbed once more by
Verdasco, then fired the ball into the net. That gave the Spaniard a 5-1 lead and he comfortably held serve before another backhand into the net by Murray gave Verdasco the set 6-1.
Murray had a far better start in the third set, breaking the Verdasco serve in the second game then comfortably holding his own, thanks to a combination of his opponent’’s errors and a cross court winner, for a 3-0 lead.
Verdasco got on the board in the next game, but Murray appeared to step up a gear after that as he found his range again.
He held serve then broke the Spaniard for a second time in the set as Verdasco netted to give Murray three break points which he converted with a good cross court winner. Murray then served out the set 6-1 to take a 2-1 lead overall.
The momentum shifted again in the fourth set as Verdasco gained a quick 2-0 lead after breaking Murray’’s serve in the second game.
After conceding an open court winner to the Spaniard, Murray berated himself with a few choice words and repeated the dose when Verdasco hit a winner down the line on the way to taking a 3-0 lead.
At the change of ends a section of the crowd burst into a rendition of Flower of Scotland in a bid to inspire Murray. It did the trick, with the 21-year-old firing down his fifth ace of the match and taking the game with a well weighted lob to claw back the deficit to 3-1.
However, Verdasco came back strongly and took the fifth game when he edged ahead, thanks to a tight angled cross-court volley, and Murray then fired a backhand into the net to give him the game.
Murray was pushed hard again on his own serve but he recovered, after a wide forehand had given his opponent a break point, then capitalised on more Verdasco errors to close to 4-2.
Verdasco saved a break point on his next service game with a well-placed forehand winner and another smash gave him the advantage, before Murray found the net again with his backhand to allow Verdasco to stay in front.
Serving to stay in the set, Murray did so comfortably but could not get the breakthrough in the next game and Verdasco took it 6-3 to force a fifth set decider, which Verdasco took to seal his place in the quarter-finals. (ANI)

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