At Miami, Andy Murray bows out to Dusan Lajovic at first hurdle

Dusan Lajovic beat Andy Murray 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday evening. He’ll play No 30 seed Maxime Cressy in the next round

Dusan Lajovic Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 2, 2021 Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic reacts during his group stage match against Canada’s Milos Raonic
Miami Open presented by Itau •First round • completed
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Serb Dusan Lajovic sent two-time Miami Open champion Andy Murray tumbling at the first hurdle on Wednesday, 6-4, 7-5, to reach the second round of the Miami Masters at the Hard Rock Stadium.

It was tense throughout the straight set victory, but Lajovic was able to be the better player in the tight moments as he took the upper hand in his first career meeting with the three-time Grand Slam champion.

After the victory, the 76th-ranked Serb admitted he was feeling the nerves.

“What was going through my mind was… it’s happening again,” Lajovic said after the one hour and 37-minute clash, referring to Murray’s remarkable string of comebacks in 2023. “And he was 40-15 in [the game that I broke back] so I was able to hustle and get back to deuce. And then I think he felt the pressure.”

Lajovic: “I felt super tight”

Lajovic broke for 5-4, but immediately gave the break back as he started to see the finish line. But he rallied from 15-40 down with Murray serving at 5-5 winning four straight points to break for 6-5.

“I felt super tight when I was 40-Love up and I missed some first serves and he was able to put pressure right from the return and luckily he missed the shot that normally doesn’t miss – the last forehand, he shanked it a little bit.,” Lajovic said.

Murray: Served well, but didn’t move well

After the match Murray says he didn’t have his feet beneath him the way he would have liked. And that might explain some of the uncharacteristic errors he made.

“I served pretty well, but the rest of the game was a bit of a problem today,” he said. “Didn’t really return that well. Yeah, made a number of errors that obviously I wouldn’t expect to be making.

“I didn’t really feel like I moved particularly well, which is really important for me, something I’ve been doing very well actually in most of the matches this year. So that was probably the thing – some days you obviously don’t hit the ball your best, but my movement wasn’t great today.”

Clay training next for Murray

The Scot plans to play on clay this year, and may will do a training block in Spain in about a week. He hasn’t decided if he will stay in the U.S. and practice on clay, or just head to Europe straight away.

“I obviously will start training on the clay soon,” he said. “Where I do that, I’m not sure. If I stay here for a few days… I’m going to Spain. My family are going there on the 30th, so I’ll join them there. We’re going to do some training in the south of Spain for a week or so. I’m not sure what I will do before then.

“Obviously I was hoping to do much better here. So, yeah, whether I stay and train here on the clay for a few days before heading to Spain, I’m not sure.”

“I don’t like to play guys like that” – Lajovic not eager to face hard-serving Cressy

The former World No 23 has won just five of his 17 hard court matches since the start of 2022. He’ll hope to keep up his fine play against Cressy in their second career meeting.

“It’s gonna be totally different and honestly, I don’t like to play guys like that,” he said. “But it’s tennis – every opponent is different.

“I’m going to try to find the best way to stay mentally stable because these guys provoke you and put you under pressure when you’re serving because their service games are normally very easy and they’re just like, flowing through and then putting pressure on your serve. So this is the main goal: to just keep it steady on my service games and then wait for the opportunities.”

Lajovic, ranked No 76, will play No 30-seeded American Maxime Cressy next.

Miami Masters, other first-round results (Hard Rock Stadium, hard, USD 8.800.000, most recent results first):

  • Lorenzo Sonego vs. Dominic Thiem
  • Pavel Kotov vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry
  • Gregoire Barrere vs. Roman Safiullin
  • Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. Zizou Bergs
  • Richard Gasquet vs. Christopher O’Connell
  • Thiago Monteiro vs. Jason Kubler
  • Yosuke Watanuki vs. Benoit Paire
  • Daniel Elahi Galan vs. Mackenzie McDonald
  • Roberto Carballes Baena vs. Bernabe Zapata Miralles
  • Alex Molcan vs. Jordan Thompson
  • Christopher Eubanks vs. Denis Kudla
  • Adrian Mannarino vs. Juncheng Shang
  • Marcos Giron vs. Cristian Garin
  • Federico Coria vs. Jiri Lehecka
  • Aleksandar Kovacevic vs. Jaume Munar
  • Pedro Martinez vs. Quentin Halys
  • Emilio Nava vs. John Isner
  • Ugo Humbert vs. Gael Monfils
  • Fabio Fognini vs. Jan-Lennard Struff
  • Yibing Wu vs. Kyle Edmund: wednesday
  • Emil Ruusuvuori beat Nuno Borges (Q): 6-1, 6-4
  • Ilya Ivashka beat Daniel Altmaier (Q): 6-2, 6-1
  • J.J. Wolf beat Alexander Bublik: 7-5, 6-3
  • Alexei Popyrin beat Mikael Ymer: 7-6 (5), 4-4 ret.
  • Laslo Djere beat Aleksandar Vukic (Q): 6-2, 7-6 (3)
  • Guido Pella beat Juan Pablo Varillas: 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
  • Marton Fucsovics beat Pedro Cachin: 6-4, 7-6 (2)
  • Facundo Bagnis beat Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (Q): 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
  • Taro Daniel (WC) beat Arthur Rinderknech: 4-1 ret.
  • Marc-Andrea Huesler beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas: 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-3
  • Brandon Nakashima beat Oscar Otte: 7-6 (3), 6-3

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