Andy Murray knocked out after battling defeat to Ruud in San Diego Open
Andy Murray was knocked out of the San Diego Open with a second-round straight-sets loss to Norway’s Casper Ruud. The former world No 1, given a wildcard entry into the tournament as he continues his latest comeback from hip surgery and other injuries, lost to the second seed 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes.
Currently ranked 109th, Murray cruised through the first round with a straight-sets win over the lucky loser Denis Kudla of the US.
The 34-year-old Scot pounced on Ruud with an early service break to take a 3-1 lead in the first set but the 22-year-old quickly found his composure. He broke back to draw level at 3-3, later securing another vital break with Murray serving at 5-6 down to take the first set.
Ruud secured an early break for a 3-0 lead in the second set but while Murray broke back in the seventh game to make it 4-3, this began a sequence of four straight breaks that ended with Ruud clinching victory on his first match point against Murray’s faltering serve.
The Norwegian world No 10, who won four tournaments on clay in Europe this year, praised Murray for his comeback, saying he had played “at a high level” in their match. “On the opposite side of the net from me was a legend of the game for the past decade or so, even what he’s done now for the past year, fighting his way back from very serious injury has been an inspiration for me,” Ruud said in his on-court interview, broadcast on ATP Tennis TV.
“For the previous 10 or 15 years he’s been an inspiration to watch on TV, the way he fights and always finds a way to never give up. The way he plays has been amazing. It’s been an unfortunate couple of years for him but it’s great to see him back and I think he was playing at a high level today.”
Rudd will next play the Italian ninth seed, Lorenzo Sonego, after he defeated the American Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-3. Denis Shapovalov of Canada is also through to the quarter-finals after powering away from the American Taylor Fritz in two sets. The fourth seed had a fight on his hands in the opening set against the 39th-ranked Fritz but eventually prevailed 7-6 (7), 6-2 in an hour and 38 minutes.
The world No 13 Shapovalov will face Cameron Norrie in the last eight after the world No 28 won his all‑British match against Dan Evans 7-6 (3), 6-3.
The Russian world No 24, Aslan Karatsev, caused a minor upset by beating the fifth seed, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and will now play the 29th-ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who cruised past August Holmgren of Denmark 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, Murray, who reached the quarter-finals of last week’s Moselle Open in Metz, has been handed a wild card into next week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Murray’s best performance in the tournament came in 2015, when he reached the semi-finals. His fellow Briton, the US Open champion Emma Raducanu, has already accepted a wildcard invitation to the event.