Briton does a Lampard in his own shoot-out to end this year's dream

After the Lord Mayor's Show that was Murray v Roddick on Saturday, the Lord Mayor yesterday forgot to turn up, or at least found that when he did, a fellow called Marcos Baghdatis had pinched his moment in the sun.

It was not that Andy Murray played too badly yesterday in succumbing to the irrepressible Greek-Cypriot, although he all too rarely scaled Saturday's scintillating heights. It was more that in Baghdatis, he met a man inspired.

"Flower of Scotland" might be the old song Murray likes best, but the old song here was "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better". Baghdatis, the 18th seed, served harder, returned better, volleyed more deeply, drop-shotted more deftly. The players' respective drop-shots, indeed, summed up the gulf between them. Murray's were disguised about as convincingly as a man in a Groucho Marx mask; his opponent's, on the other hand, were much harder to spot, more evocative of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Yet there was a period early in the second set when it looked as if we might have a real battle in store, as Murray powered to a 4-1 lead and Baghdatis, who looks like a man just a little too fond of his kleftiko, was made to scurry. Alas, Murray lost the next six games and after that never appeared likely to regain the upper hand. At 1-1 and game point in the third set he missed the easiest of volleys, an absolute sitter. Not since Gary McAllister missed a penalty against England in Euro '96 can Scotland have issued such a collective groan, the difference being that this time England groaned, too.

And even though he went on to win the game, it was symptomatic of his day.

Splendidly as Baghdatis played, Murray had plenty of opportunities.

Afterwards, he was harder on himself than he perhaps needed to be. "I didn't feel like I put up any resistance today," he said, dejectedly. "Definitely didn't deserve to win the match... I didn't feel nervous, I was just struggling to get myself going. Very difficult to explain. I don't know exactly what happened.

"It's happened a couple of times before, and I need to try to cut matches like that out, especially in Grand Slams, because that's where you want to play your best tennis, and you want to play better as the two weeks progress."

He talked as if defeat had been inevitable from the earliest exchanges, but he is anything but a quitter, and in the third set gave the Centre Court crowd a glimmer of hope that he might yet dig deep enough if not to reach Australia, then at least to reach an Australian, in the form of Lleyton Hewitt, who will now meet Baghdatis in the quarter-final.

Murray would surely have been reinvigorated had he won the tie-break, but as he prepared for the tennis equivalent of the penalty shoot-out, minds turned not to Scottish penalties but English ones. It was 48 hours since England's footballers had toiled in Gelsenkirchen, and I doubt whether I was the only person in the crowd wondering whether the teenager would do an Owen Hargreaves, or a Frank Lampard.

It was the latter. His first serve was a double-fault, and a few points later he produced another one. The dream - ours as much as his - was over for another year. But this resolute young Scotsman no longer reminds anyone here of the gauche, gawky, star of Gregory's Girl. Nor is he convincingly cast as Braveheart. Centre Court now knows him as a Local Hero.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star