Andy Murray’s run at European Open in Antwerp ended by Diego Schwartzman | Tennis News

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Andy Murray’s run at European Open in Antwerp ended by Diego Schwartzman |  Tennis News

Andy Murray gives Diego Schwartzman a stern test in Antwerp but his exhausting efforts against Frances Tiafoe appeared to take their toll on the former world No 1; the Scot will now head to Vienna for the Erste Bank Open next week

Last Updated: 21/10/21 9:02pm

Andy Murray went down to a tough loss against Diego Schwartzman in Antwerp, despite a battling effort

Andy Murray suffered a hard-fought straight-sets defeat to second seed Diego Schwartzman at the European Open in Antwerp on Thursday.

Wild card Murray came through an epic first-round contest against American Frances Tiafoe, which lasted almost four hours after three tie-break sets.

After a day off, he faced Schwartzman for the first time, but it was the Argentinian who found the momentum in a tight encounter to come through 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in two hours and 13 minutes.

Back at the scene of his last singles title in 2019, Murray started much the better as well, baffling Schwartzman by varying the pace of his shots and maintaining excellent length with his groundstrokes to open up a comfortable 4-1 lead.

But Schwartzman, who had the luxury of a first-round bye on Tuesday, began to get used to the court conditions and he was soon coming out on top in the territorial battle. The world No 13 turned the set around, going from a break down to a break up, before serving it out after 55 minutes of play, much to the consternation of Murray.

The diminutive Schwartzman played well to reach the quarter-finals in Belgium

The diminutive Schwartzman played well to reach the quarter-finals in Belgium

Schwartzman looked the greater threat early in the second set and his aggressive approach was rewarded with a break of serve in the fifth game.

Despite appearing fatigued, Murray was not finished. He summoned upon all his battling qualities to strike back three games later for 4-4 as he enjoyed his own little purple patch.

Both players were happy to trade blows in an absorbing set which was eventually settled in a tie-break.

Eight points went against the serve in a topsy-turvy breaker until Schwartzman held to earn a match point. The Scot pulled out a clutch first serve ace to save it but after pushing his forehand return long, the second seed came through on his second match point to stay on course for his fifth career ATP title.

Murray may have dropped to 172 as a result of the points finally coming off from his triumph in Belgium, which came less than a year after his hip resurfacing surgery, but he will take more positives from his week in Antwerp.

He will now prepare for the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, which begins next Monday.

Jenson Brooksby has earned high praise from Andy Murray

Jenson Brooksby has earned high praise from Andy Murray

Talented American Jenson Brooksby brushed aside Botic van de Zandschulp 6-2 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals.

US Open quarter-finalist Van de Zandschulp has been in good form but was no match for the world No 70, who will next play Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

“It’s never as easy as the score looks sometimes, but I thought I started out well and I just felt strong today,” Brooksby said in his on-court interview. “I just didn’t let up my focus at all and I think that showed.”

Fokina beat third seed Cristian Garin 4-6 6-3 6-3 after one hour and 55 minutes.

Arthur Rinderknech defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3 4-6 6-2 while Jannik Sinner is also through to the last eight after winning the all-Italian clash with Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 6-2.

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