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Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Sunday, 30 May 2010 20:58 UK

Andy Murray makes limp exit after defeat by Berdych

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Coverage:
Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Andy Murray

Highlights - Murray crashes out of French Open

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

British number one Andy Murray's campaign at the French Open ended on a darkening Court Suzanne Lenglen after he was comprehensively outplayed by 15th seed Tomas Berdych.

The Czech player faced just one break point in the match as he ran out a 6-4 7-5 6-3 winner in two hours and 16 minutes to set up a quarter-final against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.

It is only the second time he has made the last eight of a Grand Slam and he denies Murray the opportunity to at least match last year's run to the quarter-finals.

The encounter was scheduled as the fourth and last match on Court Suzanne Lenglen and when the rain arrived with the Czech leading 6-4 3-4 at 8pm local time, it seemed that would be it for the day.

But the weather cleared sufficiently for another 50 minutes of play and things went from bad to worse for fourth seed Murray as he dropped serve again to fall two sets behind, before two breaks in the third set brought a swift conclusion.

'Tricky' conditions troubled Murray

"I would say that he didn't give me too much pressure in the rallies, I was really comfortable," said the Czech.

"I mean, almost with all the points, all the shots, I had plenty of space to do everything that I wanted. That's why I won in straight sets."

It was the third time in seven days that Murray had played on Roland Garros's second show court and, after the five-set win over Richard Gasquet and a four-set defeat of Marcos Baghdatis, he found himself up against an even tougher opponent.

Berdych has an uncomplicated game based around a strong serve, heavy, flat groundstrokes and attacking anything short, and this straightforward approach was too much for Murray.

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The 23-year-old Scot faced break points in four of his five service games in the first set, reserving his best moments for rescuing himself, but serving at 49% he was giving Berdych too many chances to tee off with big returns and then dominate from the forecourt.

Berdych's conversion rate on the break points was poor but, facing little or no pressure on his own serve, he needed to take just one and did so when Murray netted a limp backhand in game eight.

The Czech served out the set easily enough and when light rain began to fall in the opening rally of the second set it appeared to disturb Murray more, a word to the umpire falling on deaf ears, as he let a 40-0 lead slip to hand over another break with a forehand into the net.

Tomas Berdych
Berdych won his last meeting with Murray in Adelaide in 2006

With Lenglen increasingly gloomy as the thunderous clouds rolled in, the match was fast becoming a nightmare for the British number one as he looked fragile on serve and impotent on the return.

Finally, Murray earned a break point after dominating a baseline exchange for one of the few times in the opening 77 minutes and, after Berdych had a quick conversation with the umpire about the balls, he put a backhand into the tramlines to let the world number four into the match for the first time.

Murray was by now more solid on serve and had moved 4-3 clear when the rain that had threatened all day truly arrived.

The players headed for the locker room at soon after 8pm local time and the stadium cleared as the chances of a resumption seemed non-existent, but within 40 minutes the Roland Garros officials had them back out.

Berdych did well to play a solid service game first up and he took a stranglehold on the match in game 11 when two fierce returns off either wing gave him a crucial break, which he had no trouble in backing up with a swift service game to take a two-set lead.

606: DEBATE
MurrayMagic101

The clocked ticked past 9pm but on they went, and Murray's hopes of extending the match into a second day all but disappeared when a double-fault and a backhand error gave Berdych the break for 4-3 in the third set.

Berdych was in no mood to hang around, attacking the Murray serve relentlessly to earn three match points in game nine and taking the second with a heavy return that Murray just could not handle.

"It was slow, wet, damp conditions. It was just heavy out there," Murray said. "The balls were gathering a lot of clay. The balls were brown by the end of the match. Just tough to see. It was dark in the end.

"But you can't make excuses about the conditions. It's exactly the same for the both of us. It's just tough conditions to play in, and he played better than me."

Murray, whose frustration repeatedly boiled over on court, added: "I knew against him, you need to expect him to hit a lot of winners, take a lot of chances. You need to try to be solid and stable and make sure that you just hang in there, because you'll get chances.

"I got myself back into it and struggled when we came back out from the rain delay. But he played a good match. He hit a big ball."

Berdych said: "My coach told me when the match was suspended that Andy looked like he didn't want to play.

"Maybe that's his style, you know, that he wants to like make the opponent sleep or whatever.

"Whatever it is it didn't work today for him, and I'm happy for it. I deserved to win."



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see also
French Open day eight as it happened
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French Open day eight photos
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Venus tumbles out of French Open
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Fleming & Skupski lose in Paris
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Murray warms to French Open task
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Grand slam men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand slam women's singles latest
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Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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