Melbourne, Jan 20 (IANS) Andy Murray crashed out of the 2022 Australian Open after losing to Japan’s Taro Daniel in the second round of men’s singles event, here on Thursday.
Britain’s Murray lost 6-4 6-4 6-4 to qualifier Daniel – ranked below him at 120 in the world – on John Cain Arena.
Former world number one Murray, now ranked 113th, had never lost to a player ranked outside the top 100 at a Grand Slam, with then world No 91 Arnaud Clement the previous lowest in the second round of the US Open back in 2005.
With this win, the 28-year-old Daniel reached the third round of a major for the first time in his career. He will now face either Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner or American Steve Johnson.
“I’m really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. A tough loss for me that’s for sure,” said Murray at the post-match press conference.
The 34-year-old questioned his future after losing in the third round of Wimbledon last year and it was on his mind again here.
Asked if he plans to be back in Melbourne next year, Murray said: “I mean, yeah. But not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons and I want to perform well in the big events. For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect.”
“Making second rounds of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that. It depends on how I get on this year results wise and how I perform in the big events,” he added.
Murray was unable to hit through his opponent during the opening set and, although he retrieved an early break, Daniel quickly secured another one.
Four break points came and went in the second game of the second set – Murray took only two of 11 in the match – and again it was Daniel that came up with the answers at the big moments.
Murray did finally move ahead early in the third but surrendered his advantage straight away before Daniel broke to lead 5-4. He received a warning for slamming his racket angrily to the court, and Daniel clinched his second match point to move through to the third round.