Agut outclasses Murray in Qatar

Spanish tennis player beats former world number 6-0, 6-1 in second round

AFP February 17, 2022


Former world number one and three-time major champion Andy Murray crashed to one of the heaviest defeats of his career on Wednesday, winning just a single game in a straight-sets loss to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Qatar Open.

Second seed Bautista Agut eased to a 6-0, 6-1 win in the second round of a tournament where Murray, now ranked 87 in the world, was champion in 2008 and 2009.

The outcome was a dramatic contrast to the last time the pair met at the 2019 Australian Open when Murray lost an emotional five-setter and feared his career was at an end.

Wednesday's loss was the 34-year-old Murray's worst since Roger Federer also allowed him just one game at the 2014 ATP Finals.

Bautista Agut, who won the Doha title in 2019 and reached the final last year, will next face fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who put out British fifth seed Dan Evans 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Top seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada enjoyed a comfortable 6-4, 6-0 win over Slovakia's Alex Molcan, ranked 73 in the world.

In the last eight, Shapovalov will meet Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech who claimed a 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4 win over seventh-seeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik, the champion in Montpellier earlier this month.

Third seed and defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili won his first match of 2022 after six successive defeats by defeating Swedish lucky loser Elias Ymer 6-4, 7-5.

The Georgian will next face Hungary's Marton Fucsovics who put out South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.


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