Andy Murray loses to Aslan Karatsev in the Sydney final
Andy Murray’s attempt to win his first ATP championship since October 2019 ended in a straight-set loss in the Sydney Classic final to Russian top seed Aslan Karatsev.
The world number 20 defeated the British player 6-3, 6-3 in Antwerp, nine months after a hip surgery. Murray was broken in the first game and struggled on serve in the second set, which he lost to Karatsev. In the second set, Murray dropped his first service game, allowing Karatsev to win with a single break.
Murray had five break chances in the fifth game of the second set, but Karatsev saved them all and restored his rhythm to seal the victory.
With two championship points on the line, 28-year-old Karatsev wobbled as Murray saved two match chances before the Russian, a surprise semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 2021, won his third ATP title.
Despite the disappointment of the loss, the world number 135 can look back on the week as a positive experience.
The three-time Grand Slam champion moved around the court well in general, and his serving, at least before the final against Karatsev, was particularly impressive. The 34-year-old Scot will now go to Melbourne for the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.
Murray, a five-time finalist in the season’s first Grand Slam, will face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, the 21st seed, in the first round on Tuesday.
Neal Skupski of the United Kingdom and his Dutch partner, Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands, won the ATP doubles event in Adelaide.
They beat Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to win their second title in two weeks at the start of 2022.
Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia won his first ATP championship in the men’s final in Adelaide, coming back from a set down to beat Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.
Madison Keys won her first title since 2019 in the women’s final with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory over American compatriot Alison Riske.