ALAS! Andy Murray’s 2nd Round Curse Continues as He Crashes Out Against Frances Tiafoe at Winston-Salem 2021

Published 08/24/2021, 11:21 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Queen’s Club Championships – Queen’s Club, London, Britain – June 17, 2021 Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during his quarter-final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs


After scoring his first-ever win in the Winston-Salem Open, Andy Murray took on the Frances Tiafoe challenge in the second round. Although he played well, the Scot went down against the American 6-7(4), 3-6.

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Before this, Murray had lost in the second round in Rotterdam, Queen’s, and Cincinnati. Thus, the pressure to crack this one was already high on the former World No.1.

As for Tiafoe, he called Murray a ‘legend‘ before their second professional meeting. Moreover, he was looking to level things between them after his loss in Cincinnati last year.

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Naturally, the contest had the stage to become an all-out entertainer. And the duo made sure to give the fans what they wanted with their rackets.

Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe: Winston-Salem Open 2021- Set 1

Both players got off to a good start, dominating with their services and keeping the rallies short. However, Murray had lost seven points, whereas Tiafoe had lost two to reach 2-2 in the opening set.

After holding a perfect service game, the 23-year-old American finally charged his opponent’s serve to earn three breakpoints at 3-3. Remarkably, Murray saved all of them to stay ahead in the set.

Aug 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Frances Tiafoe of the United States returns a ball to Denis Shapovalov of Canada (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Afterwards, at 4-4, Tiafoe again scraped a break point to put himself in a pressure situation. Although he had not seen a breakpoint, holding serve at 5-4 is never easy.

Accordingly, paying the price of missing out on crucial points, the young American had to see off three set points. But unable to convert any, Murray lost a giant opportunity to put himself in the driving seat.

As a result, the opening set of the encounter then went into a tie-breaker. Eventually, Tiafoe benefitted from this and won the set 6-7(4) after 74 minutes.

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Murray vs Tiafoe: Winston-Salem Open 2021- Set 2

Building up on the first set, the American professional kept the pressure on Murray. Subsequently, Tiafoe registered an early break, which he had missed earlier in the match.

Immediately, and unlike the opening set, the young American quickly rose to a 1-4 lead. Without any doubt, the three-time Grand Slam champion could see his fourth second-round loss near him.

To bring the end nearer, Tiafoe got the double break over Murray and served for the match. Interestingly, the Scot did not simply hand over the win, but recovered one of the two breaks.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Queen’s Club Championships – Queen’s Club, London, Britain – June 15, 2021 Britain’s Andy Murray in action during his round of 32 match against France’s Benoit Paire Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

At 3-5, 30-0, it seemed as if Murray was creating a great comeback story in Winston-Salem. However, Tiafoe haulted his dreams there and then to close the match in straight sets. He won 6-7(4), 3-6.

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In the next round, he will meet Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in North Carolina. How far does he need to go in Winston-Salem to set a perfect base for his US Open 2021 campaign?

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Purav Joshi

1144 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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