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Anderson Stuns Defending Champ Murray

Montreal, Canada

Anderson© Getty ImagesKevin Anderson saved both break points he faced.

Two-time defending champion Andy Murray made a hasty exit from the Rogers Cup in Montreal Tuesday, beaten 6-3, 6-1 by 6' 8" South African Kevin Anderson. The last defending champion to lose in the opening round in Canada was Marat Safin in 2001.

Despite the loss Murray will remain No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, but by dropping 1000 points he will see a widening in the already significant gap between he and No. 3 Roger Federer.
 
It is Murray’s third consecutive opening-round loss on North American hard courts at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level tournaments this year following surprise defeats to Donald Young in Indian Wells and Alex Bogomolov Jr. in Miami. Murray had turned around his rollercoaster year mid-season when he reached semi-finals in Rome and at Roland Garros before winning Queen’s and reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals.

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Murray was at a loss to explain his performance, saying that he believed his preparation - 10 days off after Davis Cup followed by two weeks of training in Miami - was to his liking.

"Sometimes you can make mistakes with your preparation, but I've done pretty similar stuff to what I've always done coming in here. It's just a really bad day. It's happened to me a couple times this year and also last year, as well.

"I just felt very slow. Today I couldn't get anything going. I started both sets really, really badly which doesn't help against someone that serves like Kevin. Every time he came to the net, I was a bit late getting to the ball. I was getting behind very early in all of the rallies and didn't move particularly well."

Anderson, whose first ATP World Tour title came on home soil in Johannesburg in February, said that he was surprised by the ease of his victory. "It was probably not exactly what I was expecting. At the same time I think some of the way I played, the way I served today, I think I did make it pretty tough for him. I felt I came forward very well and I executed very well.

"I've played him a couple years back and he beat me pretty bad. I knew what I had to do today. I thought I came out and played really well, played the way I wanted to play. It feels great, obviously. He's a great player."

Anderson, 25, has now won 29 matches this season, more than doubling his previous best tally of 14 wins in 2010. He reached the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Miami in March. The three-time All-American at the University of Illinois is currently No. 35 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, just two places below his career-high mark of No. 33.

 

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