Former world number one Andy Murray was ousted from the ATP Winston-Salem event on Tuesday, falling to American Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in a second round match at Wake Forest University.
The 34-year-old Murray has been battling injuries of late, including a groin problem that has limited his time on the court this season and resulted in him needing one of the four wild card spots to get into the Winston-Salem draw.
Tiafoe advances to the third round of the hardcourt tournament where he will face either Thiago Monteiro or Eduardo Nava.
“The positive thing is that I moved well and served well but my level is up and down with no real consistency,” Murray said. “There are moments in matches where I play well and then I make mistakes or miss returns. I wish I wasn’t doing that.
“My level is around 50 or 60 in the world. It’s frustrating because if I wasn’t moving great and not feeling good physically then I would be a bit easier on myself. But when I’m winning a low percentage of second-serve points, that’s got nothing to do with the physical side of things.”
Murray cruised through his opening round match winning in straight sets against lucky loser Noah Rubin, who was a last minute replacement for Nick Kyrgios.
The Aussie pulled out with an injury moments before the scheduled showdown, forcing organizers to scramble to get an opponent for Murray on Sunday night.
Rubin ran out of gas against Murray after having just an hour rest between his two-hour qualifying final and his main draw match.
Murray had no such luck against Tiafoe, who dismantled the Scot with a strong all around service game.
Tiafoe blasted three aces, won 76 percent of his first serve points and 65 percent of his second serve points in a one hour, 49 minute contest.
The pair had met just once before with Murray winning a three set thriller last year in Cincinnati.
Murray now heads to the US Open, where he won the first of his three Grand Slam titles in 2012.
The 23-year-old Tiafoe has had a productive couple of weeks during the American hardcourt swing. He reached the third round at the Toronto Masters and followed up with a win over Ugo Humbert in Cincinnati.
Also, Hungarian fourth seed Marton Fucsovics beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 7-5, 6-1 and Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland upset fifth seeded Alexander Bublik 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
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