Andy Murray’s bid to win his first title since 2019, was crushed in straight sets by Aslan Karatsevs in the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic but despite the defeat, the former world No.1 was delighted with the progress he has shown by reaching the title round.
Unfortunately the result didn’t go my way but I’ll do my best to come back and play in these sorts of matches. Andy Murray
Murray lost 6-3 6-3 to the Russian who had 24-hours earlier, eliminated Dan Evans from the event, using his power to great effect from the back of the court and never allowed the Brit – no doubt still recovering from his three-set semi-final victory over the fourth seeded Reilly Opelka – to settle into any sort of rhythm.
Karatsev broke Murray’s serve in the first game and made only four unforced errors in the match as Murray’s first-serve percentage faded, breaking the Brit again at the beginning of the second.
The Scot almost broke back in the fifth game of the second set but failed to convert one of two break points he held as Karatsev hung on.
As regards preparation for the Australian Open, where Murray plays on a wildcard, he was happy with his week’s performances and was full of praise for the Sydney fans, his opponent, and his team both at the event and back home.
“I’d like to congratulate Aslan on a fantastic week,” he said after the defeat. “I know he arrived here late in Australia after Covid, it’s impressive to come back and play at that level. All the best for the Aussie Open.
“I’d like to thank my team for all their help this year. First time in a final for three years – it’s been a long road but I couldn’t have done it without all your help. I’d also like to thank my family back home — I miss you all. I’d also like to say thank you to those putting on the event, you did a fantastic event, it’s not easy in these times – I really enjoyed it.
“Finally to ll of you who came out to support tonight, what an amazing atmosphere to play in, it was so good! I’ve really missed playing in front of these crowds.
“Unfortunately the result didn’t go my way but I’ll do my best to come back and play in these sorts of matches.”
Murray opens his AO campaign next Tuesday against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili whom he beat in a tight three-set match earlier this week and has a chance to break back into the top 100 in the world with a good run in Melbourne.