Murray, Ferrer fall in Doha; Nadal to meet Gulbis

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

DOHA, Qatar -- Third-seeded Andy Murray, playing in his first tournament since back surgery in late September, was upset by Florian Mayer of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Qatar Open on Wednesday.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal was also taken to three sets but emerged with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3 win over Tobias Kamke of Germany, while second-seeded David Ferrer joined Murray in making an early exit after a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Daniel Brands of Germany.

Murray was leading 6-3, 3-0 when the 40th-ranked Mayer started to play more aggressively, going for winners on nearly every shot. The German won 12 of the last 15 games, closing out the match with a net-cord winner to seal the win in 1 hour, 51 minutes.

Murray hit 25 winners, but the reigning Wimbledon champion also had 37 unforced errors.

"I didn't have extremely high expectations, because I haven't obviously played a match for a long time," Murray said. "You don't know exactly how your body is going to respond."

The last four times Murray played a tournament during the first week of the new season he captured the title: in 2008 and '09 at Doha, and 2012 and '13 at Brisbane.

Nadal trailed 4-1 in the second set but bounced back to level it at 4-4 before Kamke dominated the tiebreaker, taking a 5-0 lead.

Nadal earned three breaks in the match -- one in each set -- and each time Kamke double-faulted on break point.

"Important win," said Nadal, who next faces seventh-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. "I spent a lot of time on court, so that's important for my preparation, too."

Gael Monfils upset fellow Frenchman and defending champion Richard Gasquet 6-2, 7-5 in the final match of the night. The fifth-seeded Gasquet has been dealing with a back problem this week.

Two other seeded players, No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, were also eliminated.

Kohschreiber fell to qualifier and fellow German Peter Gojowczyk 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7), while Verdasco lost to Victor Hanescu of Romania 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2.

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