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Murray crashes out

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:28

Murray, on his birthday, had his chances but giant Argentinian Del Potro hit back from 5-2 down in the first set to record a 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory – his first win in four career meetings with the new world number three.

Aside from Murray, the other leading players in the men’s game, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, all progressed through their quarter-final ties.

Top seed Nadal made it 149 wins out of 153 matches on clay since 2005 as he overcame a second-set scare to defeat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, while Federer eased past Andy Roddick, and Djokovic ended the dreams of wild card Ivan Ljubicic.

It has been a completely different story in the women’s event though.

Only three of the top 16 seeds made it through to the quarter-finals, and of those just world number one Dinara Safina and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki will grace the last four following Jelena Jankovic’s surprise defeat today.

Nadal has been virtually unstoppable on clay, and had won his last 31 matches on dirt heading into his meeting with Spanish Davis Cup-winning hero Verdasco, the seventh seed here.

However, the 22-year-old was made to deep dig by Verdasco who, after losing the first set, stormed into a 4-0 lead in the second.

A couple of unforced errors by Verdasco in the fifth game saw the tide turn though, and rampant Nadal would go on to win the next five games before earning two match points on his shellshocked opponents’ serve.

Verdasco saved those to level the set up at 5-5, but Nadal would not be denied and he quickly moved 6-5 ahead and then needed just one of his three match points on Verdasco’s subsequent service game to claim a 6-4 7-5 victory.

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