Andy Murray spent greater than 10 hours on court docket throughout his opening two matches on the Australian Open, pushing his physique to win five-set epics towards Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Saturday’s third-round process towards Roberto Bautista Agut proved a step too far, with the Spaniard defeating the five-time Australian Open finalist 6-1, 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 to succeed in the fourth spherical.
In 2019, the pair met on Margaret Courtroom Enviornment for an emotional encounter, with Murray dropping what he feared can be the ultimate match of his profession. Competing in the identical stadium 4 years on, Bautista Agut as soon as once more had the solutions to triumph after three hours and 29 minutes.
“All the time taking part in Andy could be very robust,” Bautista Agut stated. “He is aware of very properly how one can play a Grand Slam match. I’m pleased with how I dealt with the nerves and pressure by means of the match, to play good tennis. I’m very pleased with the win.
“I’m feeling good on the court docket. I’m competing properly and I’m doing all the pieces I can off court docket to verify I play good matches. In the present day was very robust.”
The twenty fourth seed struck his flat groundstrokes with consistency, limiting errors off each wings to frustrate Murray. Regardless of trying fatigued, Murray fought onerous. He rallied from a break down within the second set, saving two set factors to dramatically degree.
Nonetheless, the previous World No. 1 was unable to take care of the identical depth ranges because the match went on. He produced moments of magic, however struggled bodily within the third and fourth units, hanging his serve and forehand with restricted energy.
Bautista Agut was additionally pushed to 5 units within the second spherical, clawing previous American wild card Brandon Holt. But the Spaniard regarded contemporary, breaking Murray’s serve six occasions to enhance to 4-3 in his ATP Head2Head collection towards the 35-year-old.
The 34-year-old will subsequent play Tommy Paul. If he overcomes the American he’ll equal his finest end in Melbourne, having superior to the quarter-finals in 2019.