What’s worse for a Top 5 player, losing to Donald Young or to Alex Bogomolov, Jr? Well, what about losing to BOTH Americans in straight sets in opening round Tennis Masters events this month? That’s what Andy Murray successfully accomplished yesterday in a 6-1, 7-5 shocking defeat to qualifier Bogomolov in the second round at Miami.
The loss follows the Scot’s stunning exit two weeks ago to Young at Indian Wells. And Murray has now lost his last four matches all in straight sets (9) dating back to the Australian Open loss to Novak Djokovic.
“I didn’t play particularly well,” Murray said after handing another C-level player a “career win”. “He hardly missed at all in the first set. Made it very difficult for me… he moved the ball around. When I was sort of hitting most balls crosscourt, he was hitting down the line, slicing, changing the direction of the ball, moving well.
“In practice I have been competing well. Especially this week, chasing everything down, playing a lot of good points and feeling good, then in matches I haven’t been able to get it going at all. It’s happened to me in the past where I’ve had bad moments and I’ve come back well from them.”
It’s really starting to sound like Andy, who won Miami in 2009 and lives/trains in the city part-time, needs to take some some time off from tennis (focus more on video games?).
“In terms of being in Miami and being from the town, yeah, the sentimental value is huge,” said 118th-ranked Bogomolov. “But, coming back from injuries, from my surgery [two years ago], was definitely something special, as well, because I didn’t think I was going to play tennis again. So to get the first win after that was big.
While Murray is mired in his worst career slump, his conqueror in the Australian Open final has never played better. Last night Djokovic improved his win streak to 21 with a perfect 19-0 record in 2011.
Dressed in an airline pilot’s outfit from his Head video in honor of the relief effort in Japan, Djokovic destroyed Denis Istomin 6-0, 6-1.
“Everything was working perfect,” Djokovic said. “Most of the shots I was hitting were winners, so I wasn’t making a lot of mistakes.”
“I’m fresh mentally, motivated to have even more success. I’m looking to upcoming challenges. I know it’s only been a couple of months of the year, but I have been playing great, and I want to keep on doing that.”
Other winners yesterday were Juan Martin Del Potro who won a 3-hour thriller over Phil Kohlschreiber. Robin Soderling also needed three sets to oust Ivan Dodig and David Ferrer eased past Igor Kunistyn.
The spiraling Fernando Verdasco was upset by Pablo Andujar, Marcel Granollers stunned Stan Wawrinka and Somdev Devvarman ended the hopes of Milos Raonic.
American men had great day going 5-0 with wins from James Blake, John Isners, Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish and Bogomolov.
In the women’s bracket, Vera Zvonareva survived a scare from countrywoman Dinara Safina while Ana Ivanovic cruised past Kimiko Date-Krumm. And the loss by Vavara Lepchecheko left ZERO American women remaining in the final 32.
The Saturday schedule is loaded with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova all on Stadium court.
And continuing the trend of top players playing doubles, Murray will team with Djokovic in doubles later today.
Matches are on Tennis Channel all day Saturday.
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, 26 MARCH, 2011
STADIUM start 11:00 am
 S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs R Stepanek (CZE) – ATP
P Cuevas (URU) vs  A Roddick (USA) – ATP
[WC] S Lisicki (GER) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
Starting at 8:00 PM
 R Nadal (ESP) vs K Nishikori (JPN) – ATP
 C Wozniacki (DEN) vs  D Hantuchova (SVK) – WTA
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
T Gabashvili (RUS) vs  J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
 M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [Q] O Rochus (BEL) – ATP
 S Stosur (AUS) vs  L Safarova (CZE) – WTA
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  M Cilic (CRO) – ATP
Not Before 5:00 PM
R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) vs  T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
COURT 1 start 11:00 am
S Stakhovsky (UKR) vs  J Monaco (ARG) – ATP
 G Simon (FRA) vs [Q] R Schuettler (GER) – ATP
 K Zakopalova (CZE) vs  J Jankovic (SRB) – WTA
 N Almagro (ESP) vs F Gil (POR) – ATP
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs P Cuevas (URU) / M Granollers (ESP) – ATP
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
Y Lu (TPE) vs  M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
 A Dulgheru (ROU) vs J Larsson (SWE) – WTA
 J Melzer (AUT) vs P Petzschner (GER) – ATP
S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) vs N Djokovic (SRB) / A Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 6:00 PM
 A Petkovic (GER) vs I Benesova (CZE) – WTA
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