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Andy Murray eliminated from the Rennes Challenger by world n ° 158 Roman Safiullin |  Tennis News

Andy Murray, three-time Grand Slam champion, wild card in second tier competition and fifth seed, was beaten 6-2 4-6 6-1 by world No.158 Roman Safiullin

Last updated: 09/15/21 10:02 PM

Andy Murray took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the US Open first round last month

Andy Murray slipped to a loss to Russian Roman Safiullin in the second round of the Rennes Open.

After beating Yannick Maden in the first round of the ATP Challenger Tour, Murray had no response from Safiullin, who won 6-2 4-6 6-1.

Murray had praised Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph earlier in the week, but the three-time Grand Slam winner is far from adding to his own tally just yet.

Safiullin – ranked 158 in the world, 42 places below Murray – had his number on the hard courts of Rennes, where Murray entered as the fifth seed.

Murray was moved onto the pitch in the opening rally as Safiullin impressed, breaking twice to take a dominant lead in the first set.

He couldn’t serve for the set as Murray started what he hoped would be an inspired comeback only to be broken for the third time.

The second set started on a more even pin, with Safiullin playing a nice game at the net to continue with the serve.

At 4-4 Murray broke for the first time and a good rally to move forward 30-15 in Game 10 showed signs that the fitter Scotsman was shining as he held on to take the match in a decisive set.

A chance to break in the first game of the final set overtook Murray and instead he himself would be broken for falling behind.

Safiullin would break again, this time to love, as Murray’s double fault saw the game start to slip away.

A 13th ace from Safiullin took him one game away from the progression, but Murray saved five break points to stay in the game.

But it was only a short stay of execution as Safiullin secured a deserved victory in the following match.

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