• Sony Ericsson Open

Desperate Murray thrashed by world No. 118 in Miami

ESPN staff
March 25, 2011

Sony Ericsson Open seedings

Andy Murray's miserable response to his Australian Open final defeat shows no sign of abating after he crashed out of the Sony Ericsson Open to Alex Bogomolov Jnr on Friday.

Just as he did 12 months ago, Murray has entered into a post-Melbourne slump during the months of February and March, but his latest display in Miami was arguably his most concerning. Facing the world No. 118, Murray rarely raised his standard above the mediocre in a 6-1 7-5 defeat.

The British No. 1, who lifted the Miami title in 2009, was broken on three occasions in the first set, winning just three points on the Bogomolov serve. Even by Murray's erratic standards, the lack of quality in his performance was staggering.

He hinted at a fightback at the start of the second set, breaking twice, but each time he was immediately answered by the American. Bogomolov broke for the sixth time in the contest to serve for the match, only to see Murray peg him back with the finishing line in sight. The Scot was left with the chance to serve for a tiebreak, but Bogomolov converted the first of two break chances to clinch arguably the greatest victory of his career.

New world No.2 Novak Djokovic showed no signs of slowing down his incredible momentum as he streamrolled Denis Istomin 6-0 6-1.

Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open champion Djokovic, still yet to lose this year, carried on his habit from Indian Wells last week of winning his first set to love. In the 48-minute thrashing Istomin was able to win just eight points on his own serve, four of those coming in one second set game, the only time he got on the scoreboard.

Robin Soderling narrowly escaped a shock second-round exit, eventually winning in three sets against the unseeded Ivan Dodic. Soderling has never made a big impact in Miami, failing to reach the final in four previous attempts, and that record looked set to continue when 1-4 down in the final set, but he rallied for a 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory.

The No. 4 seed was hugely penetrable when serving, losing his opening service game in both the first and third sets. He was broken four times in total, but the Croatian world No. 57 could not see the match out as Soderling emerged triumphant from a two-hour ordeal.

No. 6 seed David Ferrer also impressed, if not quite to the level of Djokovic's domination, as he breezed past Igor Kunitsyn 6-2 6-1.

Elsewhere on Friday, No. 23 seed Michael Llodra eased past Xavier Malisse 6-2 6-3, the big-serving Mardy Fish chalked up eight aces in a 6-4 6-3 triumph over Julien Benneteau, but fellow power merchant Milos Raonic could not follow suit in a 7-6(5) 7-5 defeat to Somdev Devvarman.

Few three-set matches go beyond the three hour mark but Juan Martin Del Potro took a full 183 minutes to overcome Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 6-4 7-5, while No. 17 seed Richard Gasquet won through in straight sets over qualifier Paolo Lorenzi.

Other winners included Viktor Troicki, South African Kevin Anderson and Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey and James Blake, but ninth seed Fernando Verdasco and 12th seed Stanislas Wawrinka are out.

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