Andy Murray was knocked out in the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday, suffering a straight sets loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
The big-serving Hurkacz has enjoyed a stellar year, rising to 13 in the ATP rankings and starting the Western and Southern Open as ninth seed.
But he was made to work had in an evenly matched first set that saw Murray take his opponent to a tiebreak.
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Hurkacz saved set points before emerging a 7-4 winner in the breaker, and the second set was more routine for the Pole.
The 24-year-old hit a total of 17 aces across the two-set win in a dominant serving performance, fittingly wrapping up a 7-6 6-3 victory with a service winner.
Hurkacz will face Pablo Carreno Busta in the next round.
Andy Murray in Cincinnati
Image credit: Getty Images
Murray's defeat is the latest in a string of disappointments for British players in Cincinnati.
Tuesday's action saw Johanna Konta knocked out in the first round in a blow to the British number one's US Open preparations.
Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic beat Konta 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in a strong first-round performance.
The match was briefly interrupted during the second set due to rain, with Muchova setting up a meeting with Bianca Andreescu in the second round after the resumption.
Konta had taken the opening set with a composed showing but relinquished the second in a tight tie-break.
Muchova, who has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, produced the better tennis in the decider to progress in a come-from-behind victory.
It continues a frustrating summer for Konta, who missed both Wimbledon and Tokyo 2020 due to Covid-19, and was forced to withdraw from the third round in Montreal last week due to a knee injury.
Johanna Konta of Great Britain returns a shot to Karolina Muchova of Czech Republic during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2021 in Mason, Ohio.
Image credit: Getty Images
Also on Tuesday, Cameron Norrie's bid to become British number one with a run to the quarter-finals in Ohio fell at the sizeable feet of John Isner.
Isner also fought back from a set down with a typically forthright serving performance, hitting 26 aces in the first round match to win 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
The 22nd of these took Isner beyond the 13,000 career ace mark, joining Ivo Karlovic (13,709) in an exclusive group of big servers.
The American will face Italian rising star Jannik Sinner next at the Western and Southern Open.
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