Andy Murray beaten at Australian Open after mammoth effort



CNN
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Andy Murray’s fairytale run at the Australian Open ended on Saturday after being beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut.

The three-time Grand Slam winner wowed crowds in Melbourne this year by turning back the years and winning two marathon matches, but Bautista Agut was a step too far.

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

Murray had spent more than 10.5 hours on the court before going into the third-round game and was struggling to move on points.

The 35-year-old needed five sets to beat Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the tournament and then rallied from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in an epic contest that lasted five hours and 45 minutes and at 4: 5 o’clock ended. The second-round game, which ended Friday morning, was the longest of Murray’s career.

It was no surprise, then, that Murray looked exhausted as he struggled to get through the first set, which was over before he had even started.

But as he has done throughout his career, Murray dug deep and rallied from a collapse in the second set to win an amazing tiebreak.

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

Murray struggled physically for much of the game.

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

However, Murray never walked away and continued to punish his opponent to the end, producing a series of stunning shots.

After losing match point, Murray received a standing ovation from the crowd as he hobbled off the court.

The couple had previously met in 2019 in what was reportedly Murray’s last game at the Grand Slam at Margaret Court Arena.

But the veteran decided to pursue his career and after undergoing multiple treatments for injuries, Murray has proven he still has more to offer four years later.

“2 days ago I happened to meet the doctor who said to me in 2017, ‘The good news is that the problem you have in your hip can be fixed, but you will no longer be able to play professional sports. ‘ I think we’ve busted that myth in the last 5 days,” Murray said tweeted after the game on Saturday.

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

“Always playing against Andy is very tough,” said Bautista Agut during his on-pitch interview.

β€œHe knows very well how to play a Grand Slam match. I’m happy with how I managed the nerves and tension during the game to play good tennis. I am very happy about the victory.”

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