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Mixed Olympic fortunes for Murray

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A dejected Murray suffered an embarrassing defeat in Beijing

Andy Murray suffered a shock straight sets defeat by Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun in the men's Olympic singles as his bid for gold faltered at the first hurdle.

But the 21-year-old rallied and returned with brother Jamie to claim a 4-6 6-3 6-4 doubles win over Daniel Nestor and Frederic Niemeyer.

Lu's win was a major disappointment for Murray though, with Britain's number one in fine form in recent weeks.

A lack of urgency cost Murray dear as Beijing's humidity took its toll.

The world number six cut a frustrated figure throughout as he struggled to cope with world number 77 Lu on his way to a thoroughly deserved 6-7 (5/7) 4-6 defeat.

BBC Sport's Matt Slater
Murray was twice a break up in the first set before double-faulting to lose it on a tie-break.

And the Scot had chances in the second set but Lu proved the more consistent player.

Defeat in the singles was a bitter blow for Murray, who came into the tournament in superb form following his maiden Masters Series victory in Cincinnati.

As the mistakes increased Murray's mood darkened and both ball boys and spectators felt the sharp end of his tongue as he vented his frustration.

The body language of the Scot, who was be-decked in an ill-fitting GB shirt, spoke of an irritable man who was struggling to concentrate.

Despite having built a 5-2 lead in the first set, Murray crumbled, losing first his serve and then the set, by double faulting in the tie-break.

The second set started just as badly with Murray immediately broken before a rain delay offered an opportunity for a change in momentum.

Andy Murray
Murray was irritable and error-prone throughout
Murray rallied in the third game of the second set, breaking back with some aggressive groundstrokes that had thus far been absent from his repertoire.

He held his serve with a hard-fought game in the fourth but Lu was proving an awesome opponent, especially when capitalising on mid-court balls.

Even the Scot's first successful lob of match in the ninth game of the second set could not affect Lu's determination, as he fended off the best his opponent could offer.

Lu raised his game even further with a sweeping cross court pass to set up three set and match points and he pushed his advantage home to hand Murray an embarrassingly early exit.

Just a few hours later Murray returned with his older brother Jamie for the doubles, and it looked ominous when they dropped the first set.

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Murray brothers win through

But three consecutive breaks of the Niemeyer serve in the second saw the Murrays regain momentum, but there was still time for a scare in the deciding third set.

Jamie failed to hold serve for the match after an early break, but with local time approaching midnight, they managed to break Niemeyer again to clinch the win.

"I came here to win an Olympic medal and realistically I was only ever going to win one in either singles or doubles," said Andy Murray.

I had my chances and I didn't take them

Andy Murray on his singles defeat
"I'd like success but if I had to pick one it would be to win with my brother.

"To win an Olympic medal with my brother would be something special.

"I don't want to make excuses - Lu just played better than me. I had my chances and I didn't take them."

Jamie Murray admitted the pair had needed to battle to recover from the shock defeat in the singles.

"It was a tough situation and Andy losing in the singles was a bit of a shock for us. He was a bit flat and some of that translated to me. That happens sometimes," he said.

"Andy came here with high hopes of doing well in the singles and I guess he needed a bit of encouragement.

"It was a tough day for him but we got through and that's the main thing."

Meanwhile, defending men's doubles champions Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu lost in the first round as they were beaten 7-6 6-4 by Russia's Dmitry Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny.

And Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione were involved in a marathon battle with Argentina's Agustin Calleri and Juan Monaco before eventually through to win 4-6 7-6 18-16.

The match, which lasted three hours 17 minutes, was the longest since tennis returned to the Games in 1988.

Tennis medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forRussia 1 1 1 3
Women's Singles 1 1 1
2 also show each event results forSpain 1 1 0 2
Men's Singles 1 0 0
Women's Doubles 0 1 0
3 also show each event results forUSA 1 0 1 2
Men's Doubles 0 0 1
Women's Doubles 1 0 0
4 also show each event results forSwitzerland 1 0 0 1
Men's Doubles 1 0 0
5 also show each event results forChile 0 1 0 1
Men's Singles 0 1 0
6 also show each event results forSweden 0 1 0 1
Men's Doubles 0 1 0
7 also show each event results forChina 0 0 1 1
Women's Doubles 0 0 1
8 also show each event results forSerbia 0 0 1 1
Men's Singles 0 0 1

Olympics venues map

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Find out about the Beijing tennis venue

see also
Olympics blog
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
Murrays delayed by Beijing rain
10 Aug 08 |  Tennis

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