February 28, 2021

Murray’s US Open dreams crushed by Felix

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Raz Mirza

Comment & Analysis @RazMirza

Murray fails to create single break point opportunity in crushing defeat. The last time that happened was in the 2014 French Open semi-finals against Rafael Nadal

Last Updated: 04/09/20 5:24am

Andy Murray's US Open dreams were crushed by Felix Auger-Aliassime Andy Murray's US Open dreams were crushed by Felix Auger-Aliassime

Andy Murray’s US Open dreams were crushed by Felix Auger-Aliassime

Andy Murray’s US Open dreams came to a crushing end as exciting Canadian prospect Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed a convincing straight-sets win in the early hours of Friday morning.

Murray headed into his second-round encounter having endured a marathon five-set win over Yoshihito Nishioka, in his first Grand Slam singles match since career-saving hip surgery 20 months ago.

The near five-hour battle appeared to take its toll on the former world No 1 as 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, ranked 21 in the world, produced a sublime performance to win 6-2 6-3 6-4 under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The writing was on the wall for the three-time Grand Slam champion against a player 13 years his junior from the very start as Auger-Aliassime struck 24 aces and 52 winners on his way to victory with Murray failing to create a single break point opportunity in the entire match.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I wish the fans were here,” said Auger-Aliassime. “Life is funny, I came here as a kid in 2011 and it’s crazy that nine years later I’m here getting the win.

“I think it’s all come together. We’ve been away from tennis for five months and I’ve been working on my serve. Even with nerves I was able to serve well.

“But in the back of your mind you know you are facing Andy Murray. You never know what tricks he’s got in his pocket. To close it out is not easy. You’re facing a great champion.”

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Murray: Match Stats

Felix Auger-Aliassime Match Stats Murray
24 Aces 2
2 Double Faults 2
89% 1st serve win percentage 56%
63% 2nd serve win percentage 58%
4/9 Break points won 0/0
52 Total winners 9
30 Unforced errors 21
12/19 Net points won 10/15
97 Total points won 68

Murray knew what he was up against just 10 minutes into the match, after Auger-Aliassime held serve to love before securing a break in game two.

Murray had earmarked Auger-Aliassime’s serve as a weakness in his game, but it was impeccable. Murray, one of the finest returners the sport has ever seen, did not create a single break point.

Auger-Aliassime ran away with the first set in 41 minutes, the youngster hitting 18 winners to Murray’s one.

Even Murray at his peak, without the beaten up toes and exhausted body which left him desperate for an ice bath after his exertions against Nishioka, might have struggled to chase down some of the ground strokes exploding off the 15th seed’s racket.

Murray stayed in the second set until 3-4, when Auger-Aliassime secured another break before booming down an ace to go 2-0 up.

Unlike the scene 48 hours ago, this time there was to be no heroic fightback. There was simply not enough left in the tank.

Felix Auger-Aliassime has yet to drop serve at the US Open Felix Auger-Aliassime has yet to drop serve at the US Open

Felix Auger-Aliassime has yet to drop serve at the US Open

In 2011 Auger-Aliassime had watched from the Arthur Ashe stands as Murray beat Feliciano Lopez en route to the semi-finals.

Nine years on, at the same venue, he found what was arguably a career-best performance to stub out Murray’s hopes of a second Open title.

Dan Evans will complete his match against Corentin Moutet on Friday Dan Evans will complete his match against Corentin Moutet on Friday

Dan Evans will complete his match against Corentin Moutet on Friday

There was frustration for British No 1 Dan Evans, whose match with Corentin Moutet of France was halted by the rain.

An entertaining, feisty encounter was finely poised at 4-6 6-3 5-6 with Evans serving to take the third set to a tie-break. They will return on Friday.

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