First Round Fallout of Olympic Tennis – Andy Murray

The tennis action at the 2008 Olympics is as unpredictable as it can get. Among the first round tennis players to get the axe on Monday was sixth seed tennis player Andy Murray of Britain and the fifth ranked player David Ferrer. Ferrer lost his match to Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 7-6, 6-2 and Murray lost his match to Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan 7-6, 6-4.

The 21 year old Scot Andy Murray won’t be adding to the Brit’s tally of 2 gold medals and 1 bronze which they have captured so far in the swimming and cycling categories. When Murray arrived in Beijing from London many commented the tennis pro looked tired, worn out and drained. The conditions for the upcoming match with Lu were almost ideal with some cloud cover but a mild temperature for good tennis play.

With Murray a recent Master Series title winner and Lu ranked far below, the match seemed all but won for Murray before it began. As the match progressed Murray was leading the set 5-2 but he was unable to hold down the determined Lu who came back to tie it up at 6-6. No one would have expected to see the sixth seed player being so challenged by a player ranked 77th in the world.

Murray couldn’t get a break and was having trouble returning some of Lu’s second serves. Lu was determined to win and the 24 year old was fighting him for every point. Both players totaled up over 60 unforced errors each and to top it all off a controversial double fault challenge at the 6-6 set point ended when umpire Molina ruled in favor of Lu. The set point would be awarded to Lu to end the set with Lu winning 7-6.

With all the action so far it was apparent at the 4-4 mark of the second set the match was beginning to take its toll on Murray. Even though Murray was missing a lot of forehand plays Murray tried to break Lu’s determination to hold on to the serve, but Lu’s resiliency won out. Murray battled back and forth with Lu through three break points but Lu saw an opening and finished off Murray 6-4 and won the match.

Lu stated before the match he didn’t believe he had a chance in beating Murray and would be playing just to gain the experience. Maybe that was just enough to take the mental pressure off Lu and allow him to turn the match around.

Murray on the other hand is looking forward to the doubles matches coming up and remains optimistic and hopeful about his chances of bringing home an Olympic gold medal for Britain.

The match certainly wasn’t a classic match of champions; the players were mismatched by ranking, the amount of unforced errors by both players was high and a controversial call to end the first set only added to the surprise ending.

The Olympics has always been a welcomed home for the underdog and most people will tell you they like to see the underdog win once in awhile. The question is will the underdogs in Beijing allow the top seeds to step right in and take away their chances of gold or will they come from behind and wisk it away from them before the know what has happened?

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