Andy Murray endured additional Grand Slam pain with a nasty four-set defeat to Matteo Berrettini in the third round of the US Open on Friday, while young Jack Draper retired from injury in the third set of the clash. degree with Karen Khachanov.
Murray attempted to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time since his hip problems began in 2017, but after threatening another classic comeback, he failed. lost 6-4 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6 Defeat -3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Scot is at least moving up the ladder again and will hit his highest mark since May 2018 at around 43 years old, but his ambitions are much bigger than that and this is another season. that he couldn’t make his mark at the major tournaments.
The Scot said: “It’s really tough. I’m surprised I can still compete with the top of the game.
“Games like this, I’m really proud that I’ve worked hard to get to the position where I can do it. I’m really disappointed that I didn’t push the limit today.
“But I’m reminded, ‘this is the first time you’ve done a third round here since 2016.’ It’s been a tough six years for me. It’s been really tough.
“Even though I’ve only made my third round here, I’m really proud of the effort I’ve put in to get back into these positions. I hope that in the future I can go even further but , in retrospect, I was already.”
Murray vs Berrettini: Match Statistics
|68%||Service win rate 1||74%|
|54%||Second serve win rate||51%|
|2/4||Break points won||15/5|
|24||Total number of winners||55|
|43||Error is not required||51|
|118||Total points won||135|
Many people told me that I would not be able to play again, and many people told me that I could hit tennis balls but could no longer play professionally. It’s pointless, and I want to see how far I can get back to the top of the game.
Murray spoke positively about his fitness and movement after dropping just one set in his first two games to make it through to the third round in New York for the first time since 2016.
However, this is a real step forward. Berrettini has been plagued with injury and illness problems this year but he has proved his form at the Grand Slams in particular.
He has at least reached the quarterfinals in the last four major tournaments he has played, although he missed this year’s French Open after hand surgery and then Wimbledon, where he reached the final last summer, after an ill-timed match with Covid-19.
There was little choice between the pair in the opening set but a double error from Murray on the break point in the seventh game proved the decisive moment.
The Scot then recovered from an early miss in the second and appeared to be sublimating from the bottom line only to be broken again by a double error, this time 4-4.
Murray threw his racquet toward his chair in disgust as he found himself staring into the distance two sets.
The 35-year-old hasn’t hit back from two sets to win a match since his clash with Yoshihito Nishioka here two years ago, which he admitted this week has taken him months to recover. .
He dug admirably at the start of the third inning, saving five break points in his first three games, and Murray screamed with joy as he came under more pressure to keep his score. number 6-5.
He got his reward for that persistence in the match, when Berrettini picked a bad moment to play his worst tennis of the match, losing seven points in a row.
The real comeback came when Murray broke Berrettini’s powerful serve in the opening match of the fourth set but the Italian hit back immediately and another long shot by his opponent with a score of 3. -4 is the final nail.
Murray said: “I served pretty badly for most of the game, which hurt me a lot. I just couldn’t find any rhythm in the serve.
“I did very well in the third set and you can see from the stats that, when I started to set, I became more comfortable in those exchanges when I got over a few shots. firstly.
“He serves incredibly well, gets loads of free points on his serve. I don’t. That’s the difference.”
Murray will go home before turning his attention to England’s bid to reach the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup in Glasgow later this month and then the Laver Cup at London’s O2.
He remains optimistic, saying: “I’m making progress this year. I want to push and see how far I can go.
“It’s going to be motivating for me and it’s fun to watch, because a lot of people tell me I won’t be able to play again and a lot of people tell me I can hit tennis balls but can’t compete professionally. It’s pointless, and I want to see how close I can get back to the top of the game.
“We have a couple of exciting team events to look forward to now in the next few weeks, which can help after a loss like today, around friends and the team environment, so I’m looking forward to that.” And then hopefully I keep playing better until the end of the season.”
Draper retired due to injury in clash with Khachanov
England’s Draper saw his fine streak at Flushing Meadows end in disappointment as he retired with injury in the third set of a third-round encounter with Karen Khachanov.
The 20-year-old had his biggest win of his career in the second round, beating sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, and was placed ahead of Russian 27th seed Khachanov after recovering from a slow start. sluggish.
But Draper started getting upset in the third set, and after dropping serve in the 11th game and consulting his coach, he called it a day, 6-3. 4-6 6-5.
He said: “It’s just the upper part of my hamstring, the insertion between the hamstring and the groin. I’ve had problems with it before, and maybe this time I’ve played a lot of the last seven times. The week just caught up a little bit about me.
“I think I made it 2-0 in the third inning. I went out to a wide ball and I just felt startled. I feel like, when you stress something and it goes bad. worse, really can’t go back anymore..
“Especially at this level, you can’t play if you’re injured. It was a tough game.”
However, Draper was not too disappointed, saying: “I think there are a lot of positives that I can get from the match but I think the main thing is that I still need to improve my body. I’m just not ready to go really deep in this league.
“This is my second Slam in terms of achievement. It’s very different playing five-set matches. I’ve beaten a few really good players and I feel like I’ll be back today. I’ll have a chance. You win that match if I don’t get hurt.
“I can be very positive about the year I’ve had so far. Looking back, I thought about stopping playing tennis during the Covid period. So I think now here I am and I am. broke this top 50. week, I’m so proud of myself.”