Andy Murray suffered a second-round loss to Australia’s rising star Alex de Minaur and acknowledged that he was struggling with the physical effort in the humid and hot conditions in Zhuhai.
My body held up well after two pretty long matches but the rest of my body is just tired. I wasn't able to sustain it for long enough Andy Murray
The former world number one Murray, who overcame a gruelling first-round clash with Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday, suffered a 4-6 6-2 6-4 defeat and, while he looked sharp in the first set, the 20-year-old Aussie slowly gained control in the second to go on and secure a satisfying victory.
The Scot squandered three break points as he attempted to revive his challenge in the third but De Minaur triumphed on his second match point.
“Physically, I was struggling,” said Murray, who is still trying to rebuild his caree following hip surgery last January.”My level dropped off a little bit and he capitalised on that.
“My body held up well after two pretty long matches but the rest of my body is just tired. I wasn’t able to sustain it for long enough.”
He told the BBC: “I played one or two good points, but then I was trying to finish the points a little bit early and shot selection goes down when you’re tired.”
Murray’s focus now switches to Beijing and next week’s China Open as he continues his singles comeback.
The conditions also hit the top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas who had trouble breathing and retired in his opening match after calling a medical time-out before the deciding set.
The 21-year-old Greek, the strong title favourite, handed the third-round place to unseeded Adrian Mannarino after the Frenchman levelled the match at a set-all.
The Greek was labouring badly and was far from his best as he handed the match to Mannarino 3-6 7-5.
Tournament officials said that he had been having problems breathing and was getting medical attention but did not go to hospital.
Also through to the last eight are Damir Dzumhur to face Mannarino, Borna Coric who will take on de Minaur, while Andreas Seppi faces the second seed Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils another Spaniard, Albert Ramos-Vinolas.