Defending champion Andy Murray beaten by Nicolas Mahut in second round at Queens

June 13, 2012

ATP Tennis News

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Murray could not hide his disappointment after his loss. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Today Nicolas Mahut broke a 19-match losing streak against top 10 players at the expense of Andy Murray after he sent the No.1 seed and defending champion packing with a 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.

The loss today will be a bitter blow for the Brit, who would like to have opened up his Wimbledon and Olympic campaign with more matches under his belt, but unfortunately for the world No.4, today was not his day and the tiebreak was not his finest hour.

Mahut stepped onto court with a nothing to lose attitude and played with moments of brilliance, sharpness and exquisite hand-eye co-ordination at the baseline and around the net.  Murray tried to mount a comeback, but was unable to sustain his rhythm for a long period of time.  Mahut did not appear overwhelmed by the home support of the crowd for Murray and during the pivotal moments in the match, he held his nerve as strongly as his service games.

For Murray it was the disastrous tie-break which proved to be his demise after losing six straight points before he netted a backhand slice which sealed his exit from the tournament.

All is not lost though for Murray, he will be disappointed with his early exit, but at least physically he is feeling stronger and repairing in time for the grass tournament that he wants to win so badly – Wimbledon.

Prior to his opening match today, in his pre-tournament press conference Murray felt much better about his back and his physicality on the green grass of The Queen’s Club:

“I felt pretty good the last few matches I played at the French Open but I managed to get a couple of days off, which I really needed for my back—and it’s felt much better. I’ve had a couple of good practices on the grass and it’s felt fine.”

Andy Murray was not the only seed to make an early exit from the tournament,  five more seeds were ousted today: Andy Roddick lost to Roger-Vasselin, Gille Simon was booted out by Bolelli, Muller was ousted by Dimitrov, Bogomolov lost to Malisse and Karlovic to Lu.  I think it is fair to say that the tournament organisers will be desperate not to lose any more seeded players.

The surviving seeds today were No.17-ranked Feliciano Lopez who may be rubbing his hands in delight as Murray was a potential quarter-final opponent of his at Queens and after the Scots loss, the 8th seeds draw will now have opened up due to the dropping of top players during the last 24 hours.  López made it through a difficult opening 2nd round match today against Steve Darcis of Belgium and it took 3 sets to dispatch of him 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. His next rival will be South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

Last year’s finalist Jo-Wilfired Tsonga lost to Andy Murray and he will no doubt be relieved today to see how the draw has opened up for him.  The Frenchman will aim to go one step further and lift the title this year after setting off his campaign with ease after he progressed to the next round defeating another Brit Jamie Baker 6-3, 6-2. No Brits are left at The Queen’s Club anymore.

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows

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