Andy Murray knocked out of Australian Open by Mischa Zverev
Britain's world No 1 suffers shock 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 defeat on Rod Laver Arena
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 22/01/17 5:17pm
Andy Murray's dreams of winning his maiden Australian Open were crushed in stunning fashion by Germany's 50th-ranked Mischa Zverev, in Melbourne on Sunday.
The world No 1, who had reached the quarter-finals every year since 2010, hadn't lost to anyone in Melbourne with a ranking as low as Zverev's since Juan Ignacio Chela in 2006.
His shock defeat follows that of reigning champion Novak Djokovic, who fell to Denis Istomin in the second round on Thursday, leaving the men's draw at the year's first Grand Slam wide open.
Murray had started the Australian Open convincingly and despite starting strong favourite, the German produced a stunning 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 victory in a brisk three hours and 34 minutes to reach the last eight.
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The five-time Melbourne Park finalist was well-acquainted with his opponent, his contemporary at 29 and an old sparring partner dating back to their junior days.
But left-hander Zverev, who was playing his first ever Grand Slam fourth round, recorded the win of his life and will now face Roger Federer after the 17-time Grand Slam champion beat Kei Nishikori in five sets.
Zverev's younger brother Alexander, the more fancied of the two siblings and sitting in his box, had stretched Rafael Nadal to five sets less than 24 hours before, but Mischa went one step further by inflicting arguably the biggest shock of Murray's career by serving and volleying his way to victory.
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"I was in a little coma," Zverev said on court afterwards. "I just served and volleyed my way through it.
"There were a few points where I don't know how I pulled it off but somehow I made it."
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On a potential quarter-final showdown with Federer, he added: "Everything is new to me, everything feels unreal.
"Maybe playing Roger would be a dream to me. He inspires me and he was my favourite player growing up."
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It is only the fourth time Murray has lost to an opponent ranked outside the top 40 at a Grand Slam and his first since 2007.
The British top seed's serve was broken eight times and he made 66 forced errors, testament to the constant pressure put on him by Zverev, who won a staggering 65 points at the net and served and volleyed 119 times.
Defeat for Murray means it was the earliest exit by a top-seeded player at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt's third-round departure in 2003.
Murray v M. Zverev: Match Stats
|First serve win percentage||65%||66%|
|Second serve win percentage||36%||46%|
|Break points won||5/13||8/17|
|Total points won||136||146|
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