Australian Open: Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov Crash Out

Andy Murray experienced a tough first-round loss in what could be his last Melbourne match

by Jovica Ilic
Australian Open: Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov Crash Out
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray experienced a tough blow at the start of the season's first Major. Andy has been through a harsh time at the Australian Open since 2018, winning only three matches and probably playing his last Melbourne Park encounter versus Tomas Etcheverry.

The 30th seed beat the veteran 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 23 minutes, securing his second triumph in Melbourne. The Argentine fired 11 aces and 38 winners, standing strong behind the first and second serve and getting broken once.

Former world no. 1 stood miles below those numbers, struggling behind the second serve and suffering six breaks from 14 chances offered to his opponent. Etcheverry had the upper hand in the shortest range up to four strokes, playing aggressive tennis and emerging as a deserved winner at Kia Arena.

They traded breaks at the beginning of the match, and Murray wasted more opportunities in games four and six. Tomas denied a break point in game six with a forehand down the line winner, holding for 3-3.

Tomas Etcheverry & Andy Murray, Australian Open 2024© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Argentine landed a perfect lob winner in the seventh game, creating three break chances.

Murray netted a routine forehand on the third, falling 4-3 behind. Etcheverry served well in games eight and ten, wrapping up the opener with a hold at love at 5-4 thanks to an ace. Tomas delivered four fine holds in the second set, and Andy failed to confront.

The Briton lost serve in the third game and fell 5-2 behind following a terrible volley in game seven. Tomas fired an ace in the eighth game, holding at love and moving two sets to love in front. The Argentine repeated that outcome in the third set, serving well and breaking the Briton two times.

Murray fell 3-2 behind after a volley mistake and lost serve again in game seven after Etcheverry's forehand winner. Tomas held at 15 in game eight, wrapping up an impressive performance and sending a five-time runner-up packing.

Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Denis Shapovelov fell to a qualifier Jakub Mensik 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 after two hours and 19 minutes.

Andy Murray suffered a heavy Australian Open loss.

After an early loss in Auckland, Shapovalov hit the exit door after the first obstacle in Melbourne, extending his poor run after missing the second part of 2023.

Mensik played well en route to his first Australian Open victory, delivering rock-solid numbers behind the first and second serve. The Czech tamed his strokes nicely while the Canadian sprayed whooping 50 unforced errors. Jakub had the upper hand in the crucial points, defending all nine break chances and stealing Denis' serve once in each set to bring the victory home in style.

They served well in the opening five games, closing them in 14 minutes. Shapovalov saved a break point in game six and created two in the next one. Mensik denied them with powerful serves and gained a boost. The Canadian played a wayward forehand in the eighth game, losing serve at 30 and pushing the rival in front.

Jakub Mensik, Australian Open 2024© Phil Walter / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A qualifier held at 30 in game nine with a booming serve, wrapping up the opener and gaining a boost. Shapovalov stayed in touch until 5-5 in the second set, missing a game point and losing serve after Mensik's deep return.

Jakub served for the set at 6-5 and held at love with a forced error, forcing two sets to love advantage. The third set was more fluid, lasting 20 minutes shorter than the second despite the same number of games. Mensik worked hard in the second game, defending three break points with two service winners and a fine attack.

Both players settled into a fine rhythm behind the initial shot in the following eight games, with the Czech locking the result at 5-5. Jakub pushed strong on the return in game 11, earning three break points after Denis' loose drop shot.

Mensik seized the first after Shapovalov's careless volley at the net, moving 6-5 in front and serving for the victory. A qualifier fired an ace down the T line for a hold at love, rattling off 12 of the final 13 points and moving over the top in style.

Australian Open Andy Murray Denis Shapovalov