Andy Murray suffered another early exit on the clay as he crashed out of the Bordeaux Challenger 6-3 6-0 to Stan Wawrinka. The Brit has now lost in the first round of four events on the dirt, though he also picked up the title in Aix-en-Provence earlier this month.
Murray and Wawrinka were renewing their rivalry for the 23rd time in what was their first meeting on the Challenger circuit. Both men were looking to bounce back after early exits at the Rome Masters, where the Brit lost his opening match while the 38-year-old crashed out in the second round.
The world No 42 had already enjoyed success on the Challenger circuit this clay season – winning the title in Aix-en-Provence earlier this month. Murray received a bye to the second round in Bordeaux as the second seed while the Swiss star eased past Ugo Blanchet in his opening match.
And the extra match seemed to work in Wawrinka’s favour as he was the first to pounce, breaking for a 3-1 lead. The world No 84 continued to attack the Murray serve as the world Brit was forced to save five set points in a lengthy game at 2-5 down.
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Wawrinka was able to close it out 6-3 on his own serve as Murray won just four points on his second serve. And the 38-year-old continued to challenge the former world No 1, breaking him twice to start set number two.
The former world No 3 continued to dominate, breaking Murray for the third time in the second set to serve for it at 5-0. The Brit had his first break-back point but couldn’t convert it and quickly crashed out in 75 minutes as Wawrinka outclassed him, winning 81 per cent of the points on his first serve and 61 per cent on his second.
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It’s another early exit for Murray on the dirt after he suffered first-round defeats at all three of the clay-court Masters – Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. He did manage to pick up the title in Aix-en-Provence by beating top 20 opponent Tommy Paul in the final but hasn’t won a match since.
It remains to be seen whether the former French Open finalist will compete in Paris in the coming weeks, as he has gone back and forth about his plans. The most recent update came after the Rome Masters when he said he was set to hold talks with his team to make a final decision.
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