Murray out in Cincinnati, Federer, Djokovic win
MASON, Ohio — Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray was brought back to earth on Thursday with a surprise defeat by unseeded Jeremy Chardy at the Western & Southern Open.
While his regular rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic won through to the quarterfinals, Murray lost 6-4, 6-4 to Chardy, an opponent he’d beaten easily the four previous times they’d played.
Murray had trouble controlling his shots on a breezy, hot afternoon.
“I was a little bit uncomfortable with those balls bouncing extremely high,” said Murray. “It was fairly hard to control.”
Murray won a gold medal in the Olympics at Wimbledon by beating Federer, the highlight of his career. He went to Toronto last week hoping to get in shape for the hard-court season, but had to withdraw from the Rogers Cup because of a minor injury to his left knee.
Murray felt good and moved well in an opening two-set win on center court Wednesday. Playing on the grandstand court a day later, the Scot never got into a rhythm.
Now, Murray heads to New York to practice for the U.S. Open, having played only three matches on hard courts since returning from Wimbledon’s grass.
“I won’t play any more matches,” Murray said. “When going into the big tournaments, sometimes I’ve won tournaments in the buildup and it hasn’t helped me. This year at Wimbledon, I lost in the first round at Queen’s and made the final there for the first time. I have won Queen’s before and not done well at Wimbledon.
“So it doesn’t normally have that much bearing. But I would have liked to have done a bit better this week.”
Chardy got into the tournament as a replacement for John Isner, who had a sore back. The Frenchman won his opener over Andy Roddick, who developed back spasms during the match on Tuesday.
Chardy is the first injury replacement to reach an ATP Tour quarterfinal this season.
Federer beat Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-4 and has looked sharp in his two hard-court matches. Federer skipped the Rogers Cup last week.
Djokovic was on the court for only 30 minutes in the evening. Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko quit after losing the first set 6-0, bothered by a sore right shoulder. He called the trainer over at the break, then decided not to continue.
On the women’s side, top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska overcame an unexpected challenge from wild-card Sloane Stephens before winning 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Radwanska, who lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, reached the tournament’s quarterfinal for the first time in three appearances.
Serena Williams won her 19th straight match — her last 12 in straight sets — by beating Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 6-3. Williams hasn’t lost a set since the Wimbledon final.
She returned to Wimbledon and won the gold medal in singles and in doubles with sister Venus. The travel and the hot conditions have worn her down.
Venus Williams beat Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0, a quick match after two long ones over the previous two days.
Mardy Fish, a two-time runner-up at the tournament in suburban Cincinnati, beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3, his first win over the Czech in five career matches.