Murray grabs defeat from jaws of victory
Friday 20 October 2006
Andy Murray's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters ended in disappointment last night when he was beaten by one of his best friends on the men's tour.
Novak Djokovic, who is one week younger than Murray and ranked two places higher than him at No 17 in the world, won 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, having turned the match around after the 19-year-old Briton dominated the early stages. Murray was watched by David Beckham, who was visiting the Madrid Arena for the second night in succession and met the Scot in the players' lounge before his match.
Murray, who had beaten the world No 3 Ivan Ljubicic the previous day, won five games in a row from 1-1 to take the first set. Djokovic gradually worked his way back into contention in the second, although it was Murray who made the first break at 3-3.
Djokovic, however, broke back immediately and from that point Murray's game collapsed. The Scot served poorly, while Djokovic, who was the key player in Serbia and Montenegro's victory over Britain in the Davis Cup earlier this year, hit a series of thumping groundstroke winners.
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