Andy Murray falls in Washington opener while Simona Halep, Jessica Pegula win | Tennis News

WASHINGTON: Britain’s Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, crashed in the first round of the ATP and Washington Open WTA Monday, falling to Swede Mikael Ymer.
The 35-year-old Scot fell to 115th-placed Ymer, 7-6 (10/8), 4-6, 6-1 after two hours and 50 minutes in the US Open tune-up tournament.
“I’m excited,” said Ymer, who saved four set points in the first set. “There is still a lot to do but it’s a very good start to American swing.”
World number 50 Murray, an Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016, is trying to carve out a top seed at the US Open, which he won a decade ago.
“It’s still possible,” Murray said. “I would just need to have a good run in Canada or Cincinnati really. It’s pretty straightforward if I was to make a quarter-final or a semi-final, which right now – after a loss like that one – doesn’t seem realistic.
“I feel like if I play very well I could do it. But I will definitely have to play better than today.”
Ymer, who lost his only career ATP Finals last August in Winston-Salem, will next face 15th seed Aslan Karatsev.
Ymer won 75% of his first-serve points, 49 of 65, and beat 37 winners ahead of Murray, who made just 25 with 35 unforced errors, five more than Ymer.
Murray earned a set point in the 12th game of the first set, but sent a backhand wide and Ymer held a tiebreaker.
Murray had three more set points in the tiebreaker, but Ymer crushed two forehand winners and a forehand volley winner to tie it at 7-7, prompting Murray to throw his racket in frustration. Ymer, 23, won the set on a backhand volley winner.
“I had chances in the first set to finish,” Murray said. “I didn’t understand. Yeah, frustrating.”
As Murray recovered to force a third set, Ymer took a 4-0 lead, they traded breaks on double faults and Ymer ended the match with a crosscourt backhand winner.
Murray said he will explore why he has had cramping issues in his last two games as he often thrives in the heat and humidity.
“I started having cramps at the end of the first set, Murray said. “After that you just try to find a way to get through the game.
“I need to take a look at it with my team and maybe see why, make some changes.”
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, coming out of a semi-final at Wimbledon, beat Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa 6-3, 7-5.
“Always the first lap is tough when you change surfaces,” said third seed Halep. “I know it’s going to take time to make the game more solid.”
US seed Jessica Pegula defeated US wildcard Hailey Baptiste 6-2, 6-2.
Pegula won Washington’s last WTA event in 2019 after missing two years due to Covid-19.
“It’s really weird,” Pegula said. “It’s great to be back.”
Britain’s Kyle Edmund made a triumphant return to ATP singles after three left knee surgeries and a 20-month layoff by beating Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki 6-4, 7-6 (10/8).
Edmund, who will next face Britain’s 16th seed Daniel Evans, played his first singles match at tour level since October 2020 in Vienna, a month before his first surgery.
“I didn’t find it easy today,” Edmund said. “I hung on and got my reward at the end.”

Leave a Comment