Careless Andy Murray lets guard down at Paris Masters as finish line looms

British No 1's shock loss to Jerzy Janowicz ends two-year dominance by world's top four players

If he had not won the US Open two months ago and if the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals were not three days away, this might be a worrying trend. Andy Murray has been regarded as one of the game's best front-runners, but for the third tournament in a row yesterday he lost after being within a point of victory.

Having missed two match points against Milos Raonic in the Tokyo semi-finals and five against Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai final, Murray scorned another before going down 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 to Jerzy Janowicz in the third round of the Paris Masters.

Murray had appeared in control for most of the first two sets, but when he served at 5-4 and 40-30 he wasted a match point by missing a forehand. Thereafter it was almost all downhill. Jerzy Janowicz, the world No 69, is a 6ft 8in giant with a huge serve and the 21-year-old Pole thundered 22 aces on what he later described as "the most unbelievable day in my life".

While Janowicz's joy was evident, Murray's reaction was that of a man who has bigger prizes in mind. The World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena have been the world No 3's main target ever since the US Open and his coach, Ivan Lendl, arrives in London today to begin working with him for the first time since New York.

Murray's defeat ends some remarkable sequences. This is the first Masters Series tournament for six years without Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic or Murray in the quarter-finals. Between them the big four have won every one of the 28 major tournaments (Grand Slams, Masters Series, World Tour Finals and Olympics) played since the 2010 Paris Masters, won by Robin Soderling.

Nadal, who has not played since Wimbledon, will miss London because of injury, but for Murray, Federer (who pulled out of Paris to save himself for the Finals) and Djokovic (who lost on Wednesday) the extra time they have to prepare for next week will surely be to their advantage.

"Maybe the guys that go deep here will have confidence from having a good tournament but they may arrive a little bit later and might take a while to get used to the conditions," Murray said.

"I'll definitely need to play a bit better than I did this week if I want to get some wins there."

Murray will be joined at the O2 Arena by Britain's Jonny Marray, who will compete in the doubles with Freddie Nielsen, his partner for their remarkable triumph at Wimbledon this summer. Marray, playing with the Australian Paul Hanley, reached the quarter-finals in Paris yesterday with his best win since Wimbledon, a 6-4, 6-7, 10-5 victory over the Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, the world's top doubles team.

Suggested Topics
VIDEO
News
news
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Arts & Entertainment
film
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal