An emotional Andy Murray saw his hopes of a long-awaited trophy end with defeat against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
The Scot put together his best week since claiming his 46th career title in Antwerp in October 2019 but he found himself outmuscled by Karatsev.
The top seed thumped winners from all parts of the court and wrapped up a 6-3 6-3 victory for his third title on the ATP Tour.
Following the loss, Murray gave his runner up speech thanking his family.
“I don’t know if you’re all watching, but I miss you all”, he said as his voice cracked.
Having composed himself, he continued: “I’d like to say also thank you to everyone who put the event on here. it’s my first time in Sydney. You did a fantastic job.
“It’s not easy times just now to run events but I really enjoyed it. So thanks so much to everyone for putting this event on.
“And finally to all of you who come out to support tonight. What an amazing atmosphere to play in and thank you. It was so good.
“I’ve really missed playing in front of these sorts of crowds in these sorts of matches.
“Unfortunately, the result didn’t go my way tonight but I’ll keep trying my best to come back and have more nights like this.”
Defeat means the 34-year-old must wait to make it back into the top 100.
However, he can head to Melbourne with confidence for the Australian Open and a rematch with Nikoloz Basilashvili – who he beat in the second round this week – on Tuesday.