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Andy Murray crashes out of Qatar Open in Round 2

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray started the new year with an immediate setback when he was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 by Florian Mayer, the world number 40 from Germany, in the second round of the 
Qatar Open

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray started the new year with an immediate setback when he was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 by Florian Mayer, the world number 40 from Germany, in the second round of the
Qatar Open.


Andy Murray


It was only Murray’s second match on the ATP World Tour after a four-month absence caused by a back operation and the loss is a worrying disappointment for the Scot as he tries to rebuild his match fitness. The result was even more of a stunner because Murray had led by a set and 3-0 before faltering, and once his opponent had gained momentum there seemed no way of stopping it.

A former top 20 player, Mayer began playing to that level, forsaking caution and attacking with brilliant variety with angled drives, net approaches and occasional drop shots.

“It was amazing,” said Mayer. “He was up 6-3, 3-0 and the match seemed almost finished. I don’t know how I came back. I played fantastic tennis. In the third set maybe he was injured, but I played well.

“I just decided to go for it, I played aggressive and tried everything: I had nothing to lose any more.”

Not a surprise
Although in the circumstances Murray’s loss was not such a surprise, the manner of it was. He had started very well, breaking Mayer’s serve in the fifth and ninth games, and surging on with rhythmic ground strokes in the second set.

But he became increasing defensive as Mayer imposed himself on the match, and after letting slip two break points to reach 4-2, Murray hurled down his racket and flung away his sweat bands. Soon afterwards he asked for the physio.

But it did not help and Mayer grew more and more confident as Murray’s body language slumped.

Murray had hinted at the possibility of such a setback the night before. “Provided I can get myself healthy again — you know I just need to put in the hours on the practice court — the results will come.

But it might take a bit of time,” he warned.

“I need to be patient with myself, and not expect too much too soon, because that’s the worst thing you can do.

“There will be some bumps over the next few months - but I just need to come out the other side well.” His words proved prophetic.

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