Murray's trophy drought continues; beaten in Sydney Classic final
British tennis star Andy Murray's pursuit for the first ATP title in more than two years ended on Saturday after he was beaten by the top-seed Aslan Karatsev in the Sydney Tennis Classic final. The Russian smashed winners from all over the court to end Murray's dream run in Sydney. Karatsev overpowered the Brit in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at the Ken Rosewall Arena.
Why does it matter?
- It was Murray's best run in the top-tier ATP since he won Antwerp Open in 2019.
- Though the three-time Grand Slam winner was not able to end his trophy drought, he must take consolation in his performance.
- Murray came to Sydney after a humiliating first-round loss in Adelaide Open by Argentina's Facundo Bagnis and will now head into the Australian Open as STC runner-up.
Key stats from the match
Murray served five aces in the match, one more than his younger opponent. He made five double faults while Karatsev did not make one such error. Murray did not win a single breakpoint while the Russian won three of them. Overall, Karatsev won 65 points (23 receiving, 42 serving) while Murray (13 receiving, 32 serving) had to settle for 45.
Murray congratulates Aslan on his victory
After receiving his runner-up trophy, Murray congratulated Karatsev on his win. "I'd like to congratulate Aslan on a fantastic week. I know he also arrived here late in Australia, he was recovering from COVID, so even more impressive to come back straight away and play at that level. Good job and all the best for the Aussie Open," Murray said in an on-court interview.
What's next for Murray and Karatsev?
Murray will next take on Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open on Tuesday. Karatsev will next battle against Jaume Munar of Spain in the first Grand Slam of the year on Monday in Melbourne.
Murray's journey in Sydney
Murray won his first-round match against Norwegian qualifier Viktor Durasovic in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. Next, he bested Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili in a hard-fought contest (6-7, 7-6, 6-3). He was given a walkover in the quarter-finals against David Goffin. The Briton defeated America's Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4. He lost to Karatsev in the final.
Karatsev's road to the Sydney title
Karatsev was given a bye in the first round. He started his Sydney Classic journey with a straight-set victory against Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5, 6-4. In the quarters, he went past Italian sensation Lorenzo Sonego in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. Karatsev faced his biggest challenge in England's Dan Evans. He defeated the Brit 6-4, 6(13)-7(15), 6-3. He bested Murray in the final.
Andy Murray's career highlights
Murray has three Grand Slams under his name. He clinched his first Grand Slam in 2012 when he won the US Open to become the first British player to achieve the feat. A year later, he won Wimbledon Championship. He won his second Wimbledon title in 2016. Murray is yet to win the Australian and French Open. Overall, he has won 46 ATP titles.