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2005 Jun 09 - Murray in cruel defeat

Andrew Murray suffered with cramp during his third round 7-6(1) 6-7(5) 7-5 defeat to Swede Thomas Johansson at the Queen's Club Stella Artois Championships.

In a tight opening set the young Scot served well and hit big cross court forehand winners to bring up a set point, but this slipped away and a tie-break followed which the Swede then dominated 7-1.

The second set was equally hard fought. Andrew continued to display a fighting spirit and desire to win above and beyond that which we are used to seeing from many rising British tennis stars. And his efforts were rewarded as he stunned the Swede by snatching a second set tie-break 7-5.

All was square at 3-3 in the final set but Andrew had started to cramp and legendary ATP trainer Bill Norris was called into action. Andrew then took a nasty tumble during a side-to-side rally as his legs gave up. There were fears of a broken ankle as Andrew told the trainer he heard a "crack".

But the brave Scotsman then battled through the pain barrier with the odds well and truly against him and came so close to what would have been the best win of his career. After the match he said:

"I'm very disappointed.

"I played a pretty good match but I'm a bit annoyed I wasn't able to finish it.

"I think I was going to win when I was 30-0 up at 5-4 in the third set.

"When I went over on the ankle I could have got up but I thought I heard something crack so didn't want to take any risks."

Thomas Johansson was full of praise for his young opponent. He told BBC Sport:

"I'm very impressed with the way he's playing - especially his serve and his groundstrokes - and he's going to get even better."

And added on the level at which he could compete:

"We can start with the top 50 for sure. After that, it all depends - he has to work hard."

Andrew is scheduled to play at the Nottingham Open next and then Wimbledon, but it will depend on the results of scans to assess the condition of his ankle.

Tim Henman was below par against the 20-year-old Australian qualifier Chris Guccione, but despite dropping the first set he came back to win 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2.

After the match Tim said:

"I did a great job on my own serve.

"He played fantastic tennis and he'll learn a hell of a lot from it.

Tim will now face Andrew Murray's conqueror Thomas Johansson, a man who he holds a 4-1 win/loss record over but they have never met on grass. He added:

"I feel good about my game at the moment but it's going to be a tough one.

Greg Rusedski crashed in straight sets to Czech Radek Stepanek 6-3 7-6(4) in his third round encounter.

After the match he said:

"He played very, very consistent, solid. I think he served something like 78 percent [first serves].

So he played a very clever match today, and I just didn't take my chances where I had to. So credit to him, he was the better man today."


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