Murray goes out moaning about bad balls

 

Paris

All things must pass and the best run of Andy Murray's career
finally came to an end here last night.

After winning 17 matches and three tournaments in a row, the world No 3 was beaten 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 by Tomas Berdych in a gruelling quarter-final in the Paris Masters that lasted nearly three and a quarter hours.

In a match that provided rich entertainment for a near-capacity crowd in the 14,500-seat Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, Berdych won 122 points to Murray's 119. The Czech converted only two of 14 break points and the Scot just two out of 17. To Murray's anger, Berdych saved two break points in the final set after being handed three new balls in the middle of a game after complaining about the state of those he was playing with.

It was only Murray's second defeat in 29 matches and the Scot should still head for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals beginning in London in eight days' time in good heart. He has overcome the injury he suffered last week and will be match-sharp for the year-ending finale at the O2 Arena.

Berdych, who has beaten Murray in their last three meetings, may lack finesse and make plenty of errors, but he is a formidable ball-striker. The world No 7, who is 6ft 5in tall, has a big serve and huge forehand. He was less than comfortable when stooping to pick up low, skidding slices and drop shots, but regularly had Murray in trouble with his thunderbolt groundstrokes.

Having saved three break points in his opening service game, Murray made the only break of the first set at 3-3, though he needed nine set points to close it out. Berdych made an early break in the second set, failed to serve out at 5-3 but won the tie-break 7-5.

Murray was involved in a heated row with Fergus Murphy, the umpire, after Berdych was handed three new balls when serving at 1-2 and 15-40 in the decider. "I wasn't aware that they were just changing three brand new balls, which totally changed the way the ball and the court play," Murray said afterwards, though he did not blame the incident for his defeat. "I personally don't think there was any issue with the balls. It was the fact he was down on his serve."

The Scot added: "I said 'bollocks' to the chair umpire and that got me a warning. I've been to watch a lot of football matches and you say a lot worse than that and you don't get a yellow card."

Berdych, having broken at 4-4, saved three break points in the following game before converting his second match point when Murray put a forehand return wide. The Czech, who is in the field for London, will face Roger Federer in today's semi-finals, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play the 6ft 9in American John Isner, who beat David Ferrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 last night.

Tsonga benefited from the withdrawal yesterday of Novak Djokovic, whose shoulder injury casts a doubt over his participation at the O2 Arena. The world No 1 hurt his back and ribs in giving his all to win the US Open and has not been the same since. In his three subsequent appearances he retired hurt in the second set of a Davis Cup rubber, damaged his shoulder while losing to Kei Nishikori in Basle and looked decidedly jaded in winning two matches here.

"I have pushed myself to the limit by playing and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse," Djokovic said. "My season has been long and tiring. I played all of my matches at my highest level and now my body is aching for recovery."

Suggested Topics
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee