Melbourne, Jan 14: Australian Open began on a shocking note on Monday as Brittish hope Andy Murray was felled by a fierce a right hand at Melbourne Park.
Murray's campaign in the tournament just lasted under three-and-half hours as he lost to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7-5) in the first round today. Tsonga, ranked 38 in the world and armed with a big serve and huge groundstrokes, was always going to be a tough opponent for Murray, and the Scot was under pressure on his very first service game as he survived four break points to hold. It was a sign of things to come as Tsonga won the first two sets with relative ease.
Tsonga looked to have won the match as he served for victory at 5-4, but Murray broke back and the set went to a tie-break. Murray then produced a catastrophic error of his own as he double-faulted to give Tsonga a 5-4 lead and a flailed forehand ended the Scot's hopes for another year
Murray was philosophical in defeat and said he was happy with his efforts. "I felt worse a couple of years ago when I lost in the first round here and got absolutely smoked and physically was in bad shape," he said. "But [this year] I did all the right preparation and worked very hard on my game.
"You can come away from matches feeling less disappointed if you've given it everything you've got, you've prepared properly and you feel that you've improved as a tennis player."
Murray added that he is still confident he can compete at the highest level. "Winning four tournaments in the last few years I know I've got the potential to challenge for grand slams in the future but I still have a little bit of inexperience and in that match that showed today," he said. "But the more grand slams I play and the more big matches I play, I'll learn from them and won't make the mistakes that I did today."