Djokovic moves on, Mur­ray goes home

The Daily Courier - - SPORTS -

MONACO (AP) — Andy Mur­ray blew a 4-0 lead in the de­cid­ing set and lost to Al­bert Ramos-Vi­no­las 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the third round of the Monte Carlo Mas­ters on Thurs­day.

For­mer French Open and Monte Carlo cham­pion Stan Wawrinka fol­lowed Mur­ray out af­ter los­ing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4.

Mean­while, de­fend­ing cham­pion Rafael Nadal beat Alexan­der Zverev, spoil­ing the Ger­man’s 20th birth­day, 6-1, 6-1, and two-time cham­pion No­vak Djokovic over­came a Mur­ray-like wob­ble be­fore get­ting past Pablo Car­reno Busta 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Djokovic dropped five straight games from 2-0 up in the sec­ond set and had to dig deep against the gritty Spa­niard, whose speed across the court saw him re­trieve count­less shots. Djokovic trailed 15-40 serv­ing in the ninth game of the de­cider but held his nerve. The Serb sealed vic­tory with a cross-court vol­ley at the net.

“I could have eas­ily lost this match. I can­not al­low my­self many more (matches like this) if I want to go far in this tour­na­ment,” Djokovic said.

Mur­ray, re­turn­ing from a right el­bow in­jury that side­lined him dur­ing the Mi­ami Open and Davis Cup quar­ter-fi­nals, strug­gled on his serve in a scrappy match last­ing more than 2 1/2 hours. The match had 13 ser­vice breaks, in­clud­ing seven against Mur­ray.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed to lose from the po­si­tion that I was in,” said Mur­ray, last year’s French Open run­ner-up to Djokovic. “I haven’t lost many matches like that in my ca­reer.”

Ramos-Vi­no­las of Spain cel­e­brated his first win over a world No. 1 in four chances.

Zverev pushed Nadal to five sets in the third round of the Aus­tralian Open, but the only fire Zverev showed here was when he smashed his racket clean in two dur­ing the sec­ond set.

“Aus­tralia was five sets. Last year in In­dian Wells was very close in the third (set), he had match point,” Nadal said. “Be­fore the match, I thought it was go­ing to be a big test for me.”

Zverev con­ceded the match tamely, dou­ble-fault­ing on Nadal’s third match point. Nadal re­it­er­ated his be­lief that Zverev has the po­ten­tial to be­come No. 1.

Chas­ing a 10th ti­tle here, Nadal next faces Ar­gen­tine Diego Schwartz­man, who beat Ger­many’s Jan-Len­nard Struff 6-3, 6-0.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Ser­bia’s No­vak Djokovic re­turns the ball to Spain’s Pablo Car­reno Busta dur­ing their third round match of the Monte Carlo Ten­nis Mas­ters tour­na­ment in Monaco on Thurs­day. Djokovic won 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

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