Murray Mauled by Tsonga at Australian Open

Posted on January 14, 2008

Andy Murray, whose year looked full of Grand Slam promise when he won his first tournament of 2008 at Doha, crashed out of the Australian Open on the first day to free-swinging Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6(5).

The Brit won the third set 6-0 in a romp as the Frenchman requested a trainer, but otherwise Murray looked content to sit back and wait for errors from the explosive Frenchman, errors that never came in the face of a brutal forehand that kept Murray on his heels.

"I don't think it's the end of the world, as, I mean, worse things could have happened to me out there," Murray said. "I didn't feel as though I got completely out-played, and I didn't feel physically as though I was the worse player. That sometimes happens in sport. You play a fairly decent match and you don't come through, and that's what happened."

The No. 9-seeded Murray's camp will now have to reassess after a tactical-disaster loss, this after recently firing the tactically-sharp American coach Brad Gilbert.

There were two other upsets on the day, with Austrian veteran Stefan Koubek defeating No. 16 seed and former No. 1 Carlos Moya 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-4, and Spaniard Guillermo "G-Lo" Garcia-Lopez taking out No. 18 seed Juan Ignacio Chela 6-4, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

Top 10 players advancing in straight sets Monday were (2) Rafael Nadal (d. Viktor Troicki), (4) Nikolay Davydenko (d. Michael Llodra), (6) Andy Roddick (d. Lukas Dlouhy), and (8) Richard Gasquet advanced past Nick Lindahl in four sets.

Unseeded notables advancing were Americans Jesse Levine (d. Martin Vassallo Arguello), Mardy Fish (d. Boris Pashanski) and Sam Warburg (d. Juan Pablo Brzezicki in five), and German former runner-up Rainer Schuettler (d. Arnaud Clement in four).

Matches of interest on Tuesday's schedule include (3) Novak Djokovic vs. Benjamin Becker, (1) Roger Federer coming off a stomach virus vs. Diego Hartfield, former champ Thomas Johansson vs. (15) Marcos Baghdatis, (12) James Blake vs. Nicolas Massu, riser Ernests Gulbis vs. former No. 1 Marat Safin, Nicolas Kiefer vs. (22) Juan Carlos Ferrero, an all-American battle in Robert Kendrick vs. Amer Delic, and Fabrice "The Magician" Santoro vs. towering American John Isner.