Andy Murray lost to rising Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in two punishing sets in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
Murray, who beat world number 10 Hubert Hurkacz in three gruelling sets on Monday, was beaten 6-3 6-4 by the 18-year-old after over two hours of tennis of the highest quality.
Alcaraz defeated British number two Dan Evans in straight sets in the first round and gained revenge on former world number one Murray, who out-lasted the Spaniard in a marathon three-setter at Indian Wells earlier this month.
Both players produced top-level tennis in the first set, which saw four breaks of serve, as Murray hit back from 2-0 down to square it up at 2-2.
The opening four games lasted 34 minutes and Alcaraz’s relentless power earned him another break in the fifth game to go 3-2 up.
Alcaraz staved off two break points in his next service game to lead 4-2 and broke Murray for a third time in the ninth game to take the opening set 6-3 after one hour and five minutes.
Murray looked weary at 1-1 in the second after more energy-sapping rallies, but broke Alcaraz in the third game and then held serve to lead 3-1.
The Scot, currently world number 156, sank to his haunches after holding serve to go 4-2 ahead and Alcaraz held and then broke his next service game to level it up at 4-4.
Alcaraz sniffed victory and, after winning his next service game, he cranked it up on Murray’s serve, producing the shot of the match off his booming forehand to set up match point, which he seized to wrap up the match.
Britain’s number one Cameron Norrie, BNP Paribas Open winner in Indian Wells last week, faces Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round in Vienna after defeating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in straight sets on Tuesday.
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