Andy Murray, once the number one player in the world, was eliminated from the ATP Hall of Fame Open on Friday after losing to Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in a quarterfinal match by scores of 7-5 and 6-4.
The 35-year-old Scotsman was eliminated from the grass-court competition by the world number 42 Bublik, who won 80% of his first serve games and hit 12 aces against five double faults. This set up a semifinal match between Bublik and Australian Jason Kubler, who will represent Australia.
“It’s amazing to be in the semifinals again,” stated Bublik of their current position. “Over the next two or three weeks, I won’t be competing in any competitions since I have other commitments.”
In order to go to his first ATP quarterfinal, Kubler, who is now ranked 102nd in the world, defeated fellow Australian James Duckworth 7-5, 7-6 (7/3).
Kubler’s four-match losing record versus Duckworth came to an end with this triumph. It came a day after Kubler earned his first win over a player ranked in the top 10 with an upset victory over the top-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
In the second semifinal on Saturday, Americans John Isner and Maxime Cressy will compete against one other.
Former world number one Murray is a three-time Grand Slam winner, having won the US Open in 2012, Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, and the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. In addition, he has won gold in each of those years.
While Murray, who was ranked 52nd and had already won 46 ATP titles in his career, Bublik, who was 25 years old at the time, earned his maiden ATP championship in February in Montpellier.
Injury-nagged Murray has not won a tournament since the 2019 European Open, although he finished in second place in Sydney in January and in Stuttgart in the most recent month.
The series between Bublik and Murray is now tied at two wins each after four contests played in 2018.
Murray committed his first double fault, which presented Bublik with the first break chance of the match. Bublik capitalised on the opportunity with a backhand winner to take a 6-5 lead, and then he won the first set on a service winner after 57 minutes of play.
After Murray committed a double fault and gave up a break to start the second set, he was able to draw even by successfully challenging a shot by Bublik and having it ruled out. This brought the score to 1-1.
After a foot fault call that irritated Bublik, he broke again for a 4-3 lead and held twice to secure the victory after one hour and 47 minutes of play.
“Over the course of the grasscourt season as a whole, there were some fantastic moments, but there were also some challenging ones,” said Murray.
“The match I played today as well as the one I lost at Wimbledon were both discouraging and frustrating for me, but at Stuttgart I had some of the finest victories I’ve had in a while.