Andy Murray admits he is ‘really proud’ of his efforts in New York despite being knocked out of the US Open by Matteo Berrettini.
The 35-year-old lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3 at Flushing Meadows by a power-packed performance from the 13th-seeded Berrettini.
Murray was aiming to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2017, and despite leaving frustrated, Murray revealed his pride. He said: “I’m surprised I’m still able to compete with guys that are right at the top of the game.
“Matches like this, I’m really proud that I have worked myself into a position where I’m able to do that.
“I’m really disappointed that I didn’t get over the line today. But I get reminded that this is the first time you’ve made the third round here since 2016. It’s been a difficult six years for me.”
Any lingering doubt over recent cramp issues was brushed aside in the Big Apple, as the Scot dropped just a single set heading into the clash with the big serving Italian.
A 3-0 first-round win over 24th seed Francisco Cerúndolo of Argentina handed Murray belief that he could exceed expectation.
The former world number one swept America’s Emilio Nava aside 3-1 in round two before a fourth clash with Berrettini awaited.
The 26-year-old took advantage of a sloppy start from Murray and broke in the first set for a 4-3 lead.
His devastating serves into forehand combination proved a step too far, but Murray’s poor serving helped the Italian into a two-set lead.
Another inopportune double fault, this time in the first game of the second set, gave Berrettini control of the match.
Murray’s low first serve percentage continued into the third set, but the veteran’s fighting spirit prevailed as he saved five break points across the opening three games and three more at 5-5.
A convincing tie-break performance was due reward for Murray and the comeback appeared on when he went up a break after the first game of the fourth set.
Berrettini hit straight back, though, and closed out the fourth set as Murray fell short of mounting a classic five-set comeback.
The Dunblane star is set to move into the world’s top 50 after the US Open with Davis Cup duties in Glasgow up next for Britain.
Feature Image Credit: Dustin Satloff / USTA