Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Murray upset by Cilic at US Open

SECOND-RANKED Andy Murray was knocked out of the US Open by Marin Cilic of Croatia in a lopsided 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round loss yesterday.

Cilic overcame two set points in the first set, then pounded Murray over the last two to reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinals. Murray, who lost to Roger Federer in the final at Flushing Meadows last year, will finish 2009 without making a major final.

The match ended in the late afternoon in New York, and just before newspaper deadlines back in England, where the sports sections follow Murray's every move. Certainly, those headlines won't be nice on Wednesday morning.

"Today, I could've been better in pretty much every part of my game, whether it was mental, forehand, backhand, return," said Murray, who conceded that, yes, this was the most disappointing loss of his career.

And now Murray will slide back to No. 3 or No. 4 in the rankings, behind Rafael Nadal, who will move up by virtue of beating No. 13 Gael Monfils of France 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in last night's last match to get to the quarterfinals.

Nadal-Monfils featured two men often cited as the best athletes on tour, and it was a spirited contest early, filled with long points, terrific retrieving, powerful hitting - and animated celebrations by both. Monfils eventually began to show signs of fatigue, leaning over to gasp for air between points, and Nadal took control.

Nadal, trying to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the US Open, will meet No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the quarterfinals. Gonzalez eliminated No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

"First thing that I have to try is play my tennis," Gonzalez said. "If I don't play my tennis, I mean, I have no chance."

The right-handed Murray was holding his left wrist and grimacing in pain at the end of the first set. He said the wrist had been bothering him for a week or so.

"Regardless of my wrist, I lost the match," Murray said. "I returned poorly. He served well and that was really the difference."

Cilic moved on to meet sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who reached his second straight US Open quarterfinals by cruising past No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Cilic vs. del Potro will pit two players who are 20, with lanky frames and big serves.

"For sure, if he beat Murray, he's confident," said del Potro, who lost to Murray in the Open quarterfinals a year ago. "It will be very tough for me."

Kim Clijsters, already into the semifinals, will face a Williams for the second time in this tournament.

Clijsters beat Venus Williams in the fourth round; now she'll take on defending champion Serena Williams, who improved her win-loss record to 23-1 in Grand Slam singles this season by beating No. 10 Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-3.

Looking ahead to facing Clijsters, the younger Williams said: "She's such a great person and I, like, only wish the best for her. But not in the next match."

The American and Belgian both have 12-match winning streaks at the US Open. Clijsters won the first seven en route to the 2005 title, the last time she played in New York, and has five this year, the last a 6-2, 6-4 win against 18th-seeded Li Na of China.

Still unranked because she only had played in two tournaments before the US Open, Clijsters is the first unseeded woman to reach the semifinals at Flushing Meadows since Elena Dementieva in 2000.

"I'm surprised to be sitting here talking to you right now," Clijsters said.

Cilic said the set points he saved, serving at 4-5 in the first, were the turning point against Murray. He responded by getting ahead 0-40 on Murray's serve in the next game, won the second break point, then took 13 of the next 17 games for his first career win over an opponent ranked in the top three.

"It was a relief for me to start getting more into the game," Cilic said of his reaction after saving the set points. "I didn't have to think too much. I played good, played tactically well, and he was missing."

Murray had 29 unforced errors, 12 fewer than Cilic, but he hit only 13 winners and never looked comfortable in the match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Off on Tuesday, but certainly looking on with interest, was Federer. Gone was Murray who, at least the rankings say, was supposed to be Federer's biggest challenger, the man who last month became the first since early 2006 to break the Federer-Rafael Nadal stranglehold on the top two spots.

Murray, meanwhile, was one of the sport's new breakout stars, one of the few out there who could beat Federer with some regularity, and a winner of five tournaments this year.

None of them, however, was a Grand Slam, and his status as a popular choice to break through this week wasn't worth much against Cilic.

"I put pressure on myself to win the tournaments," Murray said. "It's nice to hear that sometimes from other players, or ex-players, but it doesn't make a difference who says you're going to win, lose tournaments. That doesn't affect you."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend