Andy Murray was sent out of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells by Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine completed a three set win in quarter final 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-1.
Murray managed to create just two break points in the whole match and Del Potro won both those points.
Murray, as the number three seed and with a 5-1 lead in head to head matches against Del Potro was the favourite going into the match. But as so often happens with Juan Martin del Potro, the unpredictable Argentine produced the supperior tennis and caused an upset. He goes on to face Novak Djokovic in the semi finals, where the Serbians unbeaten record will once again be at steak.
Murray and Del Potro had not actually played against each other since 2009. Today Murray found it hard to make any impression on Del Potro’s heavy serve and huge forehand.
The first set was dominated by serve with Murray saving the only two break points in the opening game. A tie break would decide the set and after winning an epic 43-stroke rally in the breaker, Murray converted his second set point.
The cliche of how inportant winning the first set was surely being uttered and most would have predicted Murray to kick on from a one set lead. But it was Del Potro who raised his game breaking Murray to love at the start of the second set and going on to claim the second set.
Murray finally earned a first break point of the day in the tgird set, only to see Del Potro thump down a huge second serve. The Briton then offered up a double-fault, a backhand error and a wayward forehand to help his opponent break, and when Del Potro doubled the advantage at 4-1 there was no way back for Murray. A seventh double-fault gave Del Potro two match points and an eighth handed him victory after two hours and 32 minutes.
After the match Murray spoke to the press,
It was a tough match. He played like someone that’s won a lot of matches recently. It was very hot; there were a lot of long rallies. Sometimes if your legs are just a little bit tired you can miss serves. The timing might go off a little bit and you’re not quite getting up to them. That’s maybe what happened today.
It’s good for me, it’s what I needed. I needed to play matches and I have to also look at the bigger picture as well. After taking a break you can’t expect to play your best tennis straight away. I hope having played four matches, especially against a high-quality opponent like today in Juan, that will help me in the next few weeks.