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Andy Murray knocked out of the Italian Open in the first round

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Andy Murray
Andy Murray knocked out of the Italian Open in the first round. Photo/ Daily Express.
  • Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Italian Open in the first round by Fabio Fognini
  • Murray’s defeat means he is unable to string together more games in what is scheduled to be his final top-level tournament before playing in Paris 

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Italian Open in the first round by home favourite Fabio Fognini.

Andy Murray, who entered the Italian Open after winning the Aix-en-Provence Challenger Tour last week, lost 6-4 4-6 6-4 to Fabio Fognini. Murray pushed the world No. 127 all the way but was unable to regain his composure in the third set. This was his first loss in a deciding set this season after nine previous wins.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray. Photo/ Daily Express.

Murray made the worst possible start in Italy and his frustration boiled over later in the first set with a debate occurring with umpire Mohamed Lahyani over a tight line call. His protests fired up the home fans who booed and whistled him because they thought he was trying to cheat.

Murray responded to the jeers on his Instagram writing, “Stadium full of Italians booing and whistling, thinking I’m trying to cheat Fabio out of a point all because Mo couldn’t read a mark properly, cheers mate.”

Andy Murray’s defeat to Fabio Fognini means he is unable to string together more games in what is scheduled to be his final top-level tournament before playing in France.

How The Game Unfolded 

Andy Murray faced Fognini with the hopes of extending his five-match winning streak. However, things didn’t go as expected right from the start as he had to fight hard to hold his opening service game, staving off five break points from his Italian opponent.

Fognini secured a break in the third game to go 2-1 up. From there, he looked to be growing confidence on his favoured surface. Murray squandered three break points, allowing Fognini to hold hid lead before eventually increasing it to 4-2.

The Scott got frustrated with umpire Mohamed Lahyani over a ball mark which saw Fognini go 5-3 up. He repeatedly said “you know you’ve got that wrong”, as per Eurosport. Murray was right since the ball had actually gone out. Fognini went on to clinch a 69-minute opener.

Murray responded in the best way at the start of the second set, hitting very early returns. He went 4-0 up, thanks to his hitting straps, albeit helped by a string of double-faults from Fognini.

Murray was 5-1 up when Fognini began fighting back. Cheered by fellow Italians, the 35-year-old pulled back the double break with three games in a row. However, Murray quickly snatched three set points on the Fognini serve and ended up winning the set 6-4.

Andy Murray did hid best in the final set but Fognini was just too good for him. The Italian played his best tennis in the match to claim the decider.

Speaking after his victory, Fognini said he was happy to win against a big player like Murray.

Fabio Fognini

Fabio Fognini beat Andy Murray to knock him out of the Italian Open. Photo/ The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“For sure I’m happy because coming back from injury is never easy, especially at our age. But winning here in Rome against a really big player like Andy, I’m happy.” Eurosport quotes Fognini.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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