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Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Andy Murray v Janko Tipsarevic as it happened


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1751: And that is the first match Murray has lost at an ATP 250 or 500 tournament since April 2008. Onwards to Indian Wells for the British number one. Thanks for your company today. See you soon.

1745: As Tipsy takes off his shirt to reveal his tattooed upper body (not that I was looking), Murray scarpers. The world number four was well below par today. Be interesting to hear why, if indeed he reveals anything in his post-match interviews. Well done Tipsy though. A gripping final set. He's through to face Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter-finals.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-6 Tipsarevic
Another twist, sir? Coming right up... Murray thwacks a forehand into the net and Tipsy has a second match point - and he's done it this time! The Serb rifles a forehand into the corner and makes no mistake with the smash, sinking to his knees as he finally seals one of the biggest wins of his career.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-5 Tipsarevic
Big first serve earns Tipsy the first point, but Murray hits back with a brutal double-hander. Tense, tense rally now... and Murray wins it, forcing Tipsy to go an inch long. Tipsy back to 30-30 with a 13th ace of the day. Another unbearably tense rally, and it's Murray who cracks first - hooking a tired-looking forehand into the trams to give the Serb his first match point. It looks good. He's got the first serve in and he's got a short ball to put away - but wellies it miles wide. Chokerama. A backhand into the net and there's an actual scream in the crowd. Murray, without having much to do with it, has a break point. OH MY GOODNESS ME! That was like that point at the Aussie Open. Murray's out of it countless times, but he produces a backhand on the stretch to pass a stunned Tipsarevic. Phewee.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 3-5* Tipsarevic
Love service game for Murray - his first of the match. Can't do much more than that. Can Tipsy hold his nerve?

From NFK on 606: "Hard to believe Tipsa has only made one ATP Final when he plays like this."

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 6-4 2-5 Tipsarevic
Murray jogging about on the baseline, maybe trying to send a message to his opponent, but he can only congratulate the Serb for a stunning half-volley forehand down the line which takes him to 40-0. Tipsy holds to 15 and he's one game away. That will still feel like a mile away though.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 2-4* Tipsarevic
Murray takes his frustration out on a couple of booming forehands on his way to an easy hold. What can he do now?

From Hannah via text: "Divided loyalties here, how can anyone not love Tipsy?"

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 6-4 1-4 Tipsarevic
Bet you thought I'd fallen asleep... An epic game, which went a bit like this: If Tipsy is going to win this, he's going to need his first serve. It goes missing here. A rare bit of Murray magic - prodding a smash from Tipsy cross-court for a clean winner - earns the Scot two break points. He can't take either, but now Tipsy stretches for a smash and whacks it long. Another break point - a 204kph ace out wide! Screamer. But now he's pulled a backhand into the trams. So tense now. Murray has a fourth break point, and he's in control of the point until he decides to creep into the net and is forced to pick a volley off his toes. He can't though and it's deuce again. UNBELIEVABLE POINT! Murray at the net, diving this way and that - but then Tipsy manages to place a volley into the open court. Wild celebration from the Serb... but it's not over yet. Murray back to deuce, and Tipsy's backhand drifts into the baseline. A fifth break point. Surely now... NO! Another quite unbelievable point. I'm tired watching. Murray again in control from the baseline, Tipsy at the net with another lob to deal with, but he scrambles back and puts away the smash. Not surprisingly, he picks up a penalty for taking too long between points. Don't blame him. Incredible effort by the Serb as he holds.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 1-3* Tipsarevic
Tipsy playing some sublime tennis now, and the crowd are loving it. He's got a 15-30 lead, but Murray hits back with a lovely, wrong-footing forehand. Double-fault from Murray now - his fourth - and he faces another break point. Saved with a big serve and slam-dunk smash. He's hanging on in there.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 6-4 0-3 Tipsarevic
Lovely point by Murray, crunching forehands followed by an easy volley. And now a double fault by Tipsy leaves the Serb in a spot of bother at 15-30. Back to 30--30 with a backhand stunner, but Murray again puts the pressure on, forcing the error and earning a break-back point. Determined grunting from Tipsy as he steps up the pace on a couple of brave forehands, and the underdog consolidates the break.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 0-2* Tipsarevic
Murray flexing his knees again. Not at all happy. Tipsy plays a perfect point, sweeping a forehand into the corner before cutting off the volley. It's 30-30. Is Murray wobbling again? Er, that'll be a yes then. Disaster of a volley and now an error and Tipsy breaks.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 6-4 0-1 Tipsarevic
Murray takes a comfort break before returning to change his shirt, prompting some wolf-whistles. Tipsy's gone for a clothing change too, dark blue for him. Murray certainly seems to have rediscovered his focus, if not his best tennis. "No way can you miss that," he groans after missing a return, which looked far from easy actually. Tipsy holds to 30. The Serb needs to stay in this set early doors, you feel.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 0-0* Tipsarevic
Hmmm. Tipsy goes for a couple of big returns and is rewarded with a 0-30 lead. Murray flexes his knees as if to try to calm himself down. Ooh, Tipsy just missed that one though, and it's 15-30. Big serve and it's 30-30. And now a third set point for Murray. Big serve sets up the put-away for Murray - but he plays the most ridiculous shot. Shaping to hit a drop shot I think, but spooning it over the baseline. Sort of thing I'd try. The world number four comes through eventually though. Third set here we come.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 5-4 Tipsarevic
Two cracking returns take Murray to 0-30. Crunching backhand sets up volley winner - and Murray has two set points. Tipsy finds a first serve to save one, and Murray slices a backhand long on the second. Tipsy survives - but Murray will now serve for the set.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 5-3* Tipsarevic
Some typically clever hitting from the back of the court from Murray, working the space for a forehand winner down the line. That's 40-15, and a big serve bags him the game. I'm starting to make Murray the favourite - but not with much conviction.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 4-3 Tipsarevic
Tipsy wallops an ace out wide to move to 40-15. Oh, but now his first double of the day. Kerpow. Tipsy paints the line with a huuuuuge forehand and he's back to the chair, still in touch.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 4-2* Tipsarevic
Murray's defensive slice really starting to give Tipsy some trouble now. The Scot moves two games ahead. I still would not want to call this match though. Other names Vince Spadea likes to go by: The Fresh Vince, Vindawg, Spadea the Gladiatea. He will be missed if he has retired. By me, anyway.

From anon via text: "I understand Tipsarevic's nickname - to family and friends - to be Jankela. This roughly translates to 'big bad Janko' and he has it printed on his shoes."

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 3-2 Tipsarevic
Comfortable for Tipsy there. Still trying to verify this 'Spadea has retired' chat. Seems it may have some truth in it... woe.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 3-1* Tipsarevic
Murray still nowhere near his best, but Tipsy not exactly pulling up trees either. The Serb slams an easy volley into the net to give Murray two game points, of which he needs only one. Very odd match.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 2-1 Tipsarevic
Tipsy on the board in the second set with a double-quick love game.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 2-0* Tipsarevic
Haha. The crowd enjoyed that one, Murray going for a spectacular Sampras slam-dunk smash - but a bit embarrassingly, seeing the ball come back. He puts it away at the second attempt as he holds to 30. On an unrelated matter, someone has tweeted suggesting that Vince Spadea played his last match yesterday. Someone tell me this isn't true.

Murray *6-7 (3-7) 1-0 Tipsarevic
How much has Murray got left in the tank? I said before this match that Tipsy was erratic. I should have said Murray, on today's evidence. The world number four sweeps a magnificent forehand down the line on his way to earning a break point. That's an even better forehand. The Scot motors along the baseline and whips a crosscourt pass to take charge of the set immediately.

Murray 6-7 (3-7) 0-0 Tipsarevic
"Mr Murray is challenging the call..." but I don't know why. That was miles out. He's 5-2 down, and a clever forehand pass down the line gives Tipsy four set points. Can he close it out this time? Murray saves one with an unreturnable serve - and now CONTROVERSY! Tipsy's first serve is called out - but overturned by HawkEye. Umpire initially asks the players to replay the point - but, after Tipsy points out that Murray didn't get the ball back in play, the Serb is handed the set. Murray not looking too happy. Unsurprisingly. But not sure he can have any complaints.

Murray 6-6 (2-4) Tipsarevic
Murray shrugs his shoulders and mutters to himself as he finds himself 3-0 down. An ace gets him on the board, and then a brave drive-volley makes it 3-2. Tipsy's on to a short ball though and sends the forehand winner into the open court. Murray swishes his racquet in despair and he'll change sides trailing 4-2.

Murray 6-6 Tipsarevic
Boooooooo. Someone's phone's just gone off. Tipsy unaffected though, the Serb swinging an ace down the 'T'. A hold to love and it's tie-break time.

Murray 6-5* Tipsarevic
Wow. It's like someone put new batteries in. Murray into a 40-15 lead, but Tipsy comes right back, a lovely backhand return getting him back to deuce. Three aces in the game make the difference though.

Murray *5-5 Tipsarevic
Tipsy was 5-2 up in the first set the last time these two met - at last year's French Open - before losing it 7-5. Can the Serb hold his nerve this time? No. Wild smash over the baseline gives Murray three break-back points. Murray suddenly moving a lot better... and he scampers across the court to reach a drop shot, only to see Tipsy dink it back into the open court. On the next, though, Murray slams a pass down the line and he seems to be back on track.

Murray 4-5* Tipsarevic
Murray's hammering pretty much everything as hard as possible, trying to finish the points ASAP. A stunning half-volley backhand off the baseline and down the line takes him to game point. Serve-volley closes out the game. Not sure how much thought is going into this, but he's still in the set.

From the feisty skunk on 606: "I don't think I've seen Murray this unfocused in a long time, it's as if he's not bothered if he wins or not. In a way, it's nice to see him looser and simply going for his shots, but it's very uncharacteristic to see him giving away so much without berating himself. There's something going on here..."

Murray *3-5 Tipsarevic
New balls for Tipsy and after a long baseline rally, Murray looks completely spent, limping and struggling to catch his breath. Tipsarevic doesn't care though. The Serb holds to love.

Murray 3-4* Tipsarevic
Tipsy steps on a forehand, forcing Murray to mis-hit. He's in trouble again at 15-30, and then a double fault means he faces deuce. It's far from easy, but eventually he holds. Murray complained of a sore ankle and being out of breath after his first-round match. Has the top-five injury curse struck?

Murray *2-4 Tipsarevic
Murray is doing that thing where he stretches his jaw like he's yawning. This usually means he's feeling a bit tense. He's certainly not at the races yet. Turns out that run I was talking about in the third game actually goes back to Barcelona in April 2008, because he pulled out at Queen's. Thanks, Gordon in snowy Aberdeen.

From craigfrogg on Twitter: "Cheesy, pondering possibility of Murray advancing today then looked at something above the door saying 'exit'. Is it a sign?"

Murray 2-3* Tipsarevic
Uh-oh, Murray serves his first double-fault of the day to give Tipsy some hope at 30-30. Sloppy error and Tipsy has a break point. A pushed volley into the trams - unsuccessfully challenged - gives the Serb first blood.

Murray *2-2 Tipsarevic
Murray still finding his rhythm from the baseline, the Scot missing a backhand by quite a way to give Tipsy a 40-0 lead.

Murray 2-1* Tipsarevic
No problem there, hold to 15. By my reckoning, Murray hasn't lost a match at this level (ATP 500 or 250) since Queen's 2008. He pulled out of his quarter-final in Dubai last year with injury. Anyone want to correct me on that? Seems implausible...

Murray *1-1 Tipsarevic
Tipsy serves notice of the threat he poses with a lovely backhand pass to open the game. The Serb closes it out with a volley on the stretch. Good start to the match here, both players on the offensive.

Murray 1-0* Tipsarevic
Tipsy won the toss and decided to put Murray in to serve first. I told you he was wacky. Murray races into a 40-0 lead with some aggressive volleying, is pegged back to 40-30, before a neat serve-volley puts him on the board.
* denotes next to serve

From Nephiko on Twitter: "Be surprised if it isn't a quick straight sets for Muzza, Janko should pose no threat."

1512: Players just sending down a few serves at the end of the warm-up. These two have met five times before, Murray leading the H2H 3-2. Tipsy hasn't won one since 2007 though.

1510: I'd be honoured to hear from you. I really would. Text, 606 or Twitter me. Please.

1507: Here they are then. Decent crowd in for this first match of the night session at the Aviation Club in Dubai. Murray, for those of you (like me) who worry about these things, is wearing blue shorts and white shirt.

1504: Janko Tipsarevic, as I'm sure you know, is gifted but erratic - and also one of the game's finest wearer of sunglasses. I'd even put him above Arnaud Clement. He also has wheels on his racquet bag. Wacky!

1500: Hello you. They're dropping like sand flies over in Dubai where Nikolay Davydenko today joined Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro on the sidelines. That leaves Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic as the last top five players standing. NoDjo won earlier today. Murray meets Janko Tipsarevic in a mo.

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see also
Injured Davydenko quits in Dubai
24 Feb 10 |  Tennis
Murray returns with solid victory
22 Feb 10 |  Tennis
Tennis stars enjoy seven-star luxury
22 Feb 10 |  Scotland
Murray sad at Federer withdrawal
21 Feb 10 |  Scotland
Federer out of Dubai with illness
21 Feb 10 |  Tennis

related bbc links:

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Daily Express A harsh lesson for rusty Andy Murray - 26 hrs ago
AOL UK Murray out of Dubai - 29 hrs ago
Sky Sports Janko tips out Murray - 42 hrs ago
Telegraph Andy Murray loses to Janko Tipsarevic in Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships - 43 hrs ago Tipsarevic shocks Murray in Dubai - 43 hrs ago


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