Andy Murray knocked out of US Open third round by Italy’s Matteo Berrettini
Andy Murray has been knocked out in the third round of the US Open by Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
The Scot was trying to reach the last 16 of a slam for the first time since his hip problems started in 2017.
But he fell short in the fourth set, despite threatening a classic comeback.
The 35-year-old lost the first two sets but fought back in the third, winning it in a tie-break.
Berrettini avoided a fifth set decider, however, taking the fourth set 6-3.
Murray had talked positively about his fitness and movement after dropping just one set in his first two matches to make it through to the third round in New York for the first time since 2016.
But Berrettini is a proven performer at Grand Slams in particular, having made it to at least the quarter-finals at the last four major tournaments.
After a tight opening set, a double fault from Murray on break point in the seventh game handed the Berrettini, who is ranked 13th, the first set.
The Scot then recovered from an early break in the second and appeared to be gaining ascendancy from the baseline, only to again be broken on a double fault, this time at 4-4.
Murray threw his racket towards his chair in disgust as he found himself staring at a two-set deficit.
He had not fought back from two sets down to win a match since a clash with Yoshihito Nishioka here two years ago, which he admitted this week took him months to recover from.
But he managed to stay in the game and won the third set in a tie-break.
The comeback really appeared to be on when Murray broke the powerful Berrettini serve in the opening game of the fourth set but the Italian hit back straight away and another lapse from his opponent at 3-4 was the final nail.
While he hasn’t been able to discover his pre-2017 form, Murray has been edging back up the rankings after slowly regaining form and fitness.
However, it is another season where he has been unable to make a mark on the biggest stage and his attention will not turn to the Davies Cup in Glasgow later this month.
Berrettini, who has had trouble with injuries this year, makes it to week two of the US Open for the fourth year in a row.
After Murray’s loss, fellow Brit Jack Draper retired injured, leaving Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie as the British hopes at the final major of the year.
Meanwhile, Berrettini will play Spanish youngers Davidovich Fokina, who beat Daniel Galan in four sets.