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
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas