Andy Murray has exited the Rennes Open after losing to Roman Safiullin in the last 16 by a score of 6-2 4-6 6-1. The world number 116 was sluggish in the first set, but rallied to win the second against the Russian’s big-serving opponent.
Murray, seeded fifth, had planned for a run of matches in France, and his two encounters drew strong crowds. Murray, 34, had a strong showing in the first round and was looking to improve his ranking with a strong showing in this ATP Challenger event.
Two of the Scot’s first three service games were lost, but he showed indications of improvement when he broke back as Safiullin served for the set. The Russian, 24, won the first set, but Murray, who had been down in the second set, came back and broke in the ninth game to tie the match.
He got break point in Safiullin’s first service game but couldn’t convert before the Russian broke in the next game thanks to a lucky net deflection.
Murray’s rhythm was broken after that as Safiullin ran away with the deciding set, and despite saving a series of match points on his own serve, the former British number one’s efforts were ultimately in vain.
Source: BBC Sport