Murray loses five-set thriller to Nadal

Andy Murray's dreams of a first grand slam quarter-final were dashed in a five-set thriller against world number two Rafael Nadal.

The Scottish teenager won the first and third sets to lead 2-1 but could not close out the match and Nadal eventually won 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1.

For long periods the pair were evenly-matched but Nadal's greater experience told in the crucial fifth set as Murray squandered a service break early on while the Spaniard won two in the first four games to put him on course for victory.

The first set, which Murray won on a tie-break, seemed a long time ago as his opponent powered his way to victory.

In that opening set the British number one had shown great character after surviving the first break point - a set point to Nadal at 6-5 - but some big first serves when he needed them most secured the tie-break.

The pair traded mini-breaks before a wild shot from Nadal gave Murray the edge at 5-3, and when the Spaniard stretched to reach a Murray lob and fired wide he had three set points.

The Scot won the set when he successfully challenged a shot which went long from his 20-year-old opponent.

The 19-year-old from Dunblane had the luxury of three break points in game two of the second set but Nadal battled back to hold.

Murray then showed great character when he found himself two break points down after a series of unforced errors in game three. Nadal was made to work hard to retrieve two arrowing first serves and Murray completed the recovery with a stunning ace, his third of the match.

The break Murray craved came in the fourth game as he forced deuce and Nadal, who has never lost to a younger opponent on the senior tour, powered a forehand low into the net.

Murray consolidated the break to go 4-1 up, coming out on top in a superb rally at 15-15 in the fifth game.

Nadal held then claimed the break back in Murray's next service game as a two-handed backhand went long, and held again to level the set at 4-4.

Murray's service game crumbled in game nine and it was apt that he conceded the crucial break with a double-fault to put Nadal in charge, and the muscular Majorcan closed out the set 6-4 on serve.

Worryingly, Murray appeared to be moving as though inhibited by an injury, possibly to his side.

Two double-faults in a row, his fifth and sixth of the match, handed Nadal a break on a plate in the third game.

Much of the fluency was now missing from Murray's game, but he doggedly hung in and won the break back to move to 3-3 when Nadal's forehand from the baseline flew long.

The next two games went with serve but at 15-30 down in the ninth the Scot missed a simple backhand volley at the net but battled back well to go 5-4 ahead.

Murray, apparently now free from injury, then had two set points on the Spaniard's next serve and needed both to claim a 2-1 lead.

Murray opened the fourth set with an ace as he raced into a 40-0 lead only to drive long and then into the net before needing a stroke of luck with a net cord to win the game.

He was 30-0 up against the Nadal serve until he drilled a forehand and two backhands into the net to allow his opponent to hold on.

Murray found himself in an even better position in the fourth game with three break points only to squander all of them and despite him earning another two on advantage the Spaniard escaped to level things up at 2-2.

He responded with a flawless service game to love but on his next serve he faced two break points at 30-40 and advantage and succumbed to the second to trail 4-3.

Nadal comfortably held his serve and took the match into a deciding set after a Murray double fault.

Murray had a chance to break immediately but sent his cross-court backhand marginally wide and then faced similar pressure on his own serve which he could not withstand as Nadal claimed an early 2-0 lead.

An error of judgement when he had two break points in the next saw the Scottish teenager play a backhand which was heading into the tramlines and his opponent recovered.

Murray appeared to lose his focus and a second break gave Nadal a 4-0 lead, which the Spaniard extended with another successful serve.

The Scot delayed the inevitable by finally making his mark on the scoreboard but the end came just before 2am local time.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders