QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN 2014
Mayer Fight Back Stuns Murray; Ferrer Falls
by ATP Staff|
Florian Mayer broke a three-match losing streak against World No. 4 Andy Murray for a spot in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open quarter-finals - one of four upsets by German players on New Year's Day in Doha.
Mayer, who fought back from a one-set and 0-3 deficit, is now 11-43 lifetime against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
"To be honest, in my mind, the match was finished at 3-6, 0-3," said Mayer. "[But] I tried to play more aggressively, tried to risk something more. Of course for sure he didn't play his best tennis.
"I knew before the match if I would have a chance, it's probably today. He didn't play for a long time. [So] I took my chance."
Murray, who won the 2008 (d. Wawrinka) and 2009 (d. Roddick) titles, finished 2013 in the Top 4 for the sixth straight season. He was contesting his first tour-level tournament since mid-September, due to a back injury.
"I felt like I slowed down in the second set, service speed and movement," said Murray. "It wasn't a particular area that was sore. Just more joints rather than muscles, just a bit sore from changing direction and playing at that level.
"But I was playing well. I played some good tennis today. I moved well at the beginning of the match, so that was a positive, and I did say the only way to feel better is by playing matches. So today was a start."
Second seed Ferrer became another seeded casualty on Wednesday, falling to another German, Daniel Brands, 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 15 minutes. The World No. 3, who edged Alexandr Dologopolov in three sets on Tuesday, lost serve three times against the 54th-ranked Brands.
Brands reached the Doha semi-finals last year as a qualifier before falling to eventual champion Richard Gasquet. His victory against Ferrer was his fifth against a Top 10 player. He recorded two Top 10 wins last year, including one against Roger Federer in Gstaad.