Tough loss, but Murray promises to bounce back
opportunity?” he said. “I don’t know. I mean, every year you come is a different chance. But you’ve got Roger (Federer) plus three guys that are pretty much in the top 10 in the world in my half of the draw. There’s certainly no guarantees, even if I got through today’s match, that I would have gone further. “It’s disappointing to lose (but) I don’t feel like this is any more of an opportunity than other years.” Murray had every right to be confident when he arrived at Melbourne Park as the top seed at a Grand Slam for the first time after winning 28 of his previous 29 matches.
“I’m obviously down about it,” said the Wimbledon and Olympic champion. “It’s just tennis. I mean, I had great success for a number of months. Obviously in the biggest events you want to do your best. Obviously that’s not been the case here. You know, it happens.”
Murray first came across Zverev when they were both juniors and had no reason to think the 50th ranked servevolley exponent would return to end his run of consecutive Melbourne Park quarter-final appearances at eight.
Although Murray paid full tribute to Zverev’s extraordinary performance there was no escaping that his was the earliest exit from the tournament for a top seed since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003.
“I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. I’ve come back from them,” said Murray. “This is a tough one. I’m sure I’ll come back from it. But right now I’m obviously very down because I wanted to go further in this event, and it wasn’t to be.
“Credit to him. He came up with great, great shots and played a really, really good match. You know, you always finish matches you lose with things you maybe could have done a bit better, but he played some really good stuff.”
Top seed and reigning champion Angelique Kerber was also bundled out of the fourth round of the Australian Open by big-hitting American Coco Vandeweghe yesterday, losing 6-2, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena. The 25-year-old New Yorker claimed a place in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time, blasting six aces and 30 winners to overpower Kerber.
“I guess I faked (having confidence) a lot because I was feeling like crap out there,” said the American. “But, you know, fake it ‘til you make it’ .... my game plan was to execute knowing that she was going to get a lot of balls back.”
Meanwhile, Venus Williams was not prepared to even countenance the suggestion she could potentially meet younger sister Serena in the final after she advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Mona Barthel.
The 13th-seeded Venus had some struggles against the German qualifier but clinched the crucial points to advance to a last eight clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Serena is on the other side of the draw and faces Barbora Strycova in their fourth round clash today and has looked the most comfortable of the players left in the tournament.
As such, a potential ninth showdown in a Grand Slam final, and second at Melbourne Park, between the American sisters could potentially be on the cards, though Venus sidestepped the question after her victory over Barthel.
“That could hopefully happen,” the 36-year-old said. “We both still have to work very hard to get there.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ended the fairytale run of Dan Evans to reach the quarter-finals, beating him 67 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. — Reuters .