Andy Murray beaten in straight sets by Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam
Andy Murray suffered a second-round defeat to Russian Andrey Rublev having recorded his first tour-level win since August against Robin Haase in round one on Monday.
By PA Media
Last Updated: 03/03/21 10:22pm
Andy Murray bowed out of the AMRO World Tennis Tournament in straight sets to Russian world number eight Andrey Rublev on Wednesday night.
Britain's three-time grand slam winner was looking for only his second win over a top-10 player since returning from the career-saving hip surgery he underwent two years ago.
There were certainly encouraging signs for Murray, who came through the physical test against the big-hitting fourth seed.
But the shot-making on the big points which propelled him to the very top of the sport has yet to fully return as he slipped to a 7-5 6-2 defeat in Rotterdam.
Murray's first serve was at least carrying significantly more venom than in Monday's three-set win over Robin Haase in the first round. The Scot was also comfortable engaging Rublev in long, punishing rallies early on, waiting for the 23-year-old to make the first error.
But the familiar chuntering surfaced towards the end of the first set, Murray at one point exclaiming "I'm totally unprepared for this", although two aces on his way to a hold for 5-4 suggested otherwise.
However, a pair of double-faults gave Rublev the break for 6-5 and a frustrated Murray smashed his racket into the ground. He then failed to capitalise on two break points as the first set slipped away in just over an hour.
Rublev, a renowned frontrunner, broke for 3-2 in the second and wrapped up victory with five games in a row.
British No 3 Cameron Norrie meanwhile saw his tournament come to an end as he suffered a 6-2 6-2 defeat to Karen Khachanov.
Norrie had beaten 40th-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round having picked up two wins in qualifying to progress to the main draw.