Aslan Karatsev vs. Andy Murray: Player ratings, highlights, and key moments as the Brit is blown away in Sydney.

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Aslan Karatsev vs. Andy Murray: Player ratings, highlights, and key moments as the Brit is blown away in Sydney.

Murray was defeated in his first final since winning the title in Antwerp in 2019 by 2021 breakthrough player Karatsev, 6-3 6-3.

Aslan Karatsev blew Andy Murray away in the Sydney Tennis Classic, winning in straight sets to deny the former world No. 1 his first title in over two years.

Murray had blunted Reilly Opelka’s massive serve in the semi-finals with a tactically astute return and serve – but the more rounded Karatsev and the effects of more than seven hours on the court during the week proved too much for him.

Murray’s stated goal for 2022 is to win another title, and it would have been nice to accomplish that just two weeks into the new year, but Karatsev had other plans.

The Russian had already defeated one British player in the semi-final, Dan Evans, though it appeared that he had aided his countryman by keeping Karatsev on the court for more than three hours.

However, the 28-year-old, who made a sensational comeback at the Australian Open last year by going from qualifying to the semi-finals, showed no ill effects and hit winner after winner, leaving Murray with his hands up in the air and wondering what he could do to stop the Russian.

In the end, it was all for naught, and Karatsev was awarded a title he richly deserved.

410 – Andy Murray

Murray, being such a harsh critic, would probably give himself a lower score.

But, truth be told, he didn’t put up much of a fight until he was down 3-1 in the second set, at which point it was a mountain to climb.

The signature crosscourt forehand winner back behind Karatsev, brushing up the side of the ball to bend it over the net and away from his opponent, was a rare moment of magic.

If we’re looking for positives, his first serve percentage improved in the second set, but it was so low in the first, at just 48%, that finding upsides is difficult.

Murray had a good week overall, and the one-sided final should not detract from that.

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News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.

Andy Murray vs Aslan Karatsev: Player ratings, highlights and key moments as Brit is blown away in Sydney

Key moments

  • Serve issues: Murray had only been broken twice during the whole tournament before the final but wobbled immediately against Karatsev. He struggled to find the court with his first serve and double-faulted on the second point of the match before being broken that same game.
  • They’ll be coming: Murray had issued something of a call to arms for anyone with a Saltire in their garage to get down to the Ken Rosewall Arena and plenty turned up for the Saturday night final. “When you hear the sound of the Tartan Army sing, we’ll be coming round the road,” they bellowed in an effort to lift their man, but it was a sign more of how much he seemed to need them.
  • A taste of his own medicine: Murray is known as one of the 21st centuries great returners, but it was Karatsev who was jumping all over his second serve in this match. Murray’s response was to push the lines with his second, but it merely resulted in double-faults, back-to-back ones to seal the first set.
  • Distracted?: At no point did Murray seem totally locked in to this match. His very first service point was interrupted by some odd thundering, then an overexcited driver on the nearby main road disturbed him with their revs. Later, he repeatedly complained to umpire Fergus Murphy about crowd members coming late – but Karatsev never seemed bothered.
  • Last-chance saloon: It took Murray until the 14th game of the match to force a break point at 3-1 down in the second. He had five chances to break the Karatsev serve as the Russian’s level dropped, but could not find a way through. That game was effectively the match, and both men knew it.

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