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Andy Murray suffers disappointing defeat in Bordeaux Challenger event

Andy Murray suffers disappointing defeat in Bordeaux Challenger event
© Reuters
Former British and world number one Andy Murray goes out in the second round of the Bordeaux Open, but Dan Evans progresses to the quarter-finals.

Andy Murray's comeback appearance at the Primrose Bordeaux Challenger event ended prematurely as the former world number one lost in the second round to Gregoire Barrere.

The two-time Wimbledon winner took to the French clay nearly two months on from suffering a severe ankle injury at the Miami Open and earned a first-round win over qualifier Kyrian Jacquet.

However, Murray benefitted from his French opponent retiring on that occasion, and 30-year-old Barrere proved a class above in a 6-4 6-2 victory, taking just one hour and 27 minutes to advance.

An abysmal start from Murray saw him lose serve three times as Barrere won the opening five games of the match, but he briefly looked set to pull off another of his sensational turnarounds as he earned two breaks back.

The 37-year-old had ultimately left himself with too much to do, though, and he was also blown away by Barrere at the start of the second set, falling 1-4 down but again managing to reduce the deficit.

The Murray fightback was much more short-lived on this occasion, though, as Barrere broke his serve for the sixth time in the match to move 5-2 ahead and needed just one match point to reach the quarter-finals.

What next for Murray after Bordeaux exit?

Andy Murray in action at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February 2024© Reuters

Thursday's humbling loss will be best consigned to the back pages of Murray's record books, as the veteran only landed 43% of his first serves while saving just one of the seven break points that Barrere fashioned.

Nevertheless, Murray at least managed to get back into the swing of things during his brief Bordeaux campaign, and the 37-year-old is now scheduled to take part in next week's Geneva Open - an ATP 250 tournament - before discovering his French Open fate.

While Murray was sent packing at the second hurdle in Bordeaux, compatriot Dan Evans made it through to the quarter-finals by defeating Harold Mayot 6-3 7-6[3], and he will now pit his wits against China's Shang Juncheng.

Elsewhere, Katie Boulter made it through to the quarter-finals of the Trophee Clarins in Paris - dispatching Bulgaria's Viktoriya Tomova 6-2 6-4 - while a mouthwatering clash between the world's two best female players materialised at the Italian Open.

Iga Swiatek booked her place in the final with a 6-4 6-3 beating of Coco Gauff, before Aryna Sabalenka eased past Danielle Collins 7-5 6-2, and the pair will now reunite in a rematch of the recent Madrid Open final, which Swiatek won in three.

However, there were two surprise results in the men's quarter-finals, as American Tommy Paul sunk Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 3-6 6-3, while Nicolas Jarry came from a set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6 7-5 6-4.

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Andy Murray reacts at the Miami Open on March 23, 2024
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