By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray bowed out of the Rafa Nadal Open on Thursday night with a 6-3 4-6 6-7 (3-7) loss to Matteo Viola, the world number 240.

In the Balearics to gain more competitive singles exposure on his comeback from January's hip surgery, Murray looked in command with two breaks of the Viola serve in the first set.

Seemingly struck by fatigue and cramps, however, Murray found the going tougher in the second set as his Italian opponent jumped to a 3-0 lead immediately.

The final set at least went to a tie-break after Murray fought back from 0-2 down, but he coughed up a double-fault on Viola's second match point to exit the tournament in the third round.

This was a disappointing loss but one which highlights the work Murray w...
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By Phil Messenger
Andy Murray reached the third round of the Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Norbert Gombos.

The match was repeatedly delayed due to inclement weather and it was 10pm when the players finally made it onto the court. After an easy win in the first round Murray endured a sterner test from his 115 ranked Slovakian opponent.

Gombos hits a hard ball, and the Brit had ample opportunity to demonstrate that his defensive instincts remain intact. Movement on court still requires work, but the improvement since his singles return in Cincinnati is obvious.

"I think I did well, it was a tough match," said Murray. "He hits his shots very hard, so I had to do quite a lot of moving and defending. There are things I'd like t...
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By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray scored an emphatic 6-0, 6-1 victory against Frenchman Imran Sibille in the Rafa Nadal Open first round in Mallorca.

Murray has dropped down to Challenger level this week to gain match practice ahead of his return to the ATP tour in Zhuhai next month.

The extremely one-sided contest was a clear mismatch, with the unranked 17-year-old – a trainee at the Rafa Nadal Academy – unable to make any inroads into Murray's game.

With no ATP ranking (and an ITF ranking of 2792), Sibille was as expected outmatched from the very beginning. Murray started the first set with an ace and never looked back, losing only three points on his way to a 6-0 scoreline in just 19 minutes.

The second set was going much the same way, wi...
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By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray continued his comeback from hip surgery with a 7-6, 7-5 loss to world number 73 Tennys Sandgren in the Winston-Salem first round.

There was a notable improvement in Murray's performance compared to his last match, with the Brit more assertive in his play and willing to chase down balls.

Murray made an excellent start to the match, putting pressure on the Sandgren serve in a 14-minute opening game which saw nine deuces and one break point. Sandgren eventually held, and both men did well on serve for the rest of the set.

In the tie-break though, Murray fell behind. He saved three set points, but his attempt to put away a stretch volley found the net and the American won the tie-break 10-8.

The former world num...
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By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by world number 56 Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Murray was playing his first singles match since the Australian Open in January. At the time, he feared that hip resurfacing surgery may end his career. But successful surgery has left him pain free, allowing him to resume his singles career.

It was an understandably difficult match for the former world number one. But there were positives too, and Murray progressed from tentative play in the first set to a more proactive performance in the latter stages of the match.

A nervy opening game saw Murray lose serve and he closely avoided going down a double break. But he recovered and began to get some...
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By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray and Serena Williams saw their mixed doubles romp ended in the third round yesterday by the top seeds, Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar, 3-6, 6-4, 2-6.

The stellar British-American duo battled to a break opportunity at 3-3 in the first set but couldn't converted.

They were immediately punished as their opponents took their own opportunity to move to 5-3 and served out the set.

The second set was tight until Soares coughed up three double faults while serving at 4-5 down and Murray-Williams took the match to a decider.

The experienced Brazilian doubles specialist made amends, however, at the start of the third set by clinching an immediate break with a winner.

The match then slipped away from Murray ...
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