MASON, Ohio (AP) – 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 62, 6-4 and has looked sharp in his two hard-court matches. Federer skipped the Rogers Cup last week.
“I feel like things are working really well for me,’’ Federer said. “Regardless of what’s going to happen, I’m feeling good, I’m healthy, I have no issues. I’m happy I got over the jet lag, and so the risk is less to get injured and all those things. So I’m in a good place right now.’’
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.
Davydenko warmed up ﬁne, but his serve quickly deteriorated. He had eight double faults, made 16 unforced errors and won only 16 points.
“You deﬁnitely don’t want to win like this,’’ Djokovic said. “He couldn’t serve over 90 mph (by the end of the set) and he had a lot of double faults. Something was bothering his shoulder.