Murray Loses to Cilic With 'Embarrassing' Performance

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No Excuses for Murray After Loss

Andy Murray was just as baffled as the rest of us following his flat performance in the fourth round of the U.S. Open:

"I had my chance in the first set, and then struggled after that. The momentum went with him, and I didn't manage to get it back.

I don't know what it was. Against [Paul] Capdeville [in the second round] I felt a little bit low on energy. And it's not an excuse, but it's not good in a Grand Slam to feel that way."

I didn't find a way to get myself into the match. Every time I had a chance, he would hit a big serve or I would hit a poor return, especially on the second serve. ... Normally, the return is the one part of my game where, even if the rest of my game is struggling, I find ways to break serve and get into points, and I didn't do that.

Today was not good."

Later, Murray called the loss the most disappointing of his career.

The Difference Between Murray and Federer

Besides the obvious "Andy Murray loses and Roger Federer doesn't," WSJ's The Fix runs the numbers on the duo's respective losses. The real difference is that Andy Murray loses to marginal players and Roger Federer doesn't. Ever:

Roger Federer has 15 Grand Slams to Murray’s zero, and the reason was apparent in Murray’s straight-sets loss to No. 17 Marin Cilic at the U.S. Open on Tuesday. That was Murray’s fourth loss in four Slams this year to a player ranked below him, and outside the top five. Since he ascended to the top 20 of the rankings before this tournament three years ago, he’s lost to someone outside the top five in all but three majors. Half the time he’s exited to someone like Cilic, ranked outside the top 10.

Federer, by contrast, hasn’t lost to a player outside the top three in a major in his last 18 Grand Slams, and hasn’t lost to someone outside the top five in his last 22 Slams — since the 2004 French Open. That’s why he’ll be looking to make his 22nd straight semifinal on Wednesday, while Murray has reached only two Slam semis. Murray has thrived against Federer in recent years in head-to-head encounters, but hasn’t done well enough against lower-ranked opponents at majors to reach many matches against Federer. That’s particularly baffling because his strengths — fitness and the ability to return any ball — should aid consistency.


Murray Will Drop to No. 3 With a Nadal Victory Tonight

Andy Murray might have lost more than a tennis match today.

If Rafael Nadal beats Gael Monfils tonight (a tall order given Nadal’s multiple injuries) he will regain his No. 2 world ranking and knock Murray down to No. 3.

The Scotsman ascended to No. 2 earlier this summer while Nadal was recovering from a bout of knee tendinitis.


Andy Murray Loses in Straight Sets to Marin Cilic With 'Embarrassing' Performance

On ESPN, Chris Fowler called Andy Murray's fourth round performance "dismal" and "embarrassing". He was far too kind.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray was thoroughly dominated in his U.S. Open match this afternoon against Marin Cilic, losing 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. The Scotsman looked defeated from the second he stepped on the court and his performance raised questions about his ability to stay focused for an entire Grand Slam event:

From Murray's World:

The 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 straight sets loss to Marin Cilic will once again raise question about the Scots ability to apply himself at the highest levels of the game. The Croatian dominated a passive Murray, beating him into submission with a buffet of powerful winners and unreturnable serves.

Hampered by a slight left wrist injury, Murray started the match in passive mode. This proved more than enough for most of the first set as Cilic swung with wild abandon and racked up the unforced errors. Murray failed to capitalise and at 5-5 the giant Croatian began to find his range. With the help of a Murray double fault and some great winners he took the decisive break before serving out easily.

Murray was a popular pick to win the Open.

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