Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring
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Andy Murray succumbed to Carlos Alcaraz as the Spaniard got revenge at the Erste Bank Open. The former world No 1 overcame the 18-year-old earlier this month in Indian Wells, but was unable to score the same result in Vienna. Murray led by a break for most of the second set but Alcaraz got the better of the three-time Grand Slam champion with a 6-3 6-4 victory.
Alcaraz got off to a good start when he broke Murray in the first game of the match – a lengthy seven-minute affair.
The pair, who faced off at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 less than three weeks ago, played a long first set, with most games lasting almost ten minutes.
After failing to convert break points in the second game of the match, Murray eventually broke in the fourth game for 2-2, by which time the match had already gone on for 34 minutes.
The young Spaniard responded, breaking Murray in a ten-minute game, before both players managed to settle in and get through games much quicker than before.
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Alcaraz, who Murray hailed as a “future world No 1” in Indian Wells just weeks ago, was able to break the Brit’s serve once again and take the opening set 6-3.
Although he won the lengthy first set, the rising star on the ATP Tour was unable to hit all the right spots on his first serve, winning just 56% of the points, but dominated on his second serve, winning 62% of the encounters.
Much like their encounter in the Californian desert, Murray looked to be mounting a comeback as he was the first to strike in the second set, breaking to lead 2-1.
He fended off the young Spaniard during a lengthy game at 3-2 and managed to hold, extending his lead to 4-2, but failed to win another game afterwards.
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Alcaraz, who upset third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the US Open quarter-final last month, reeled off four games in a row to get revenge over the current world No 156.
Following his 6-3 6-4 victory, the world No 42 will now face either Matteo Berrettini or Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-final.
It was Murray’s first-ever match loss in Vienna, as the 46-time title winner played the event in 2013 and 2016, winning both times.
Although the scoreline appeared straightforward, the recent Umag champion needed two hours and six minutes to overcome the 34-year-old.
Both players recorded double figures of break points, but it was the teenager often likened to Rafael Nadal who made the most of his opportunities to get a lead over Murray.
Alcaraz converted five of 15 break point opportunities, while the former world No 1 won just two of his 10 break points.
He managed to improve his first serve percentage by the end of the match, making 62% of his serves compared to Murray’s 51%, and winning 59% of the points during the two-hour battle.
The pair also enjoyed a lengthy encounter in Indian Wells earlier this month, as Murray called it a “brutal match”.
“Three hours for three sets is a bit much,” he said, after sealing a 5-7 6-3 6-2 victory over Alcaraz in California.
Unable to get the better of the 18-year-old once again, Murray will now look to the upcoming Paris Masters – where he says he is open to playing the qualifying event – and the ATP 250 in Stockholm.
After ruling himself out of the Davis Cup, he also admitted he could be convinced to play and the British squad remains one player short.
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