Lajovic Upsets Murray In Miami Opener
World No. 76 Dusan Lajovic brushed aside his recent modest hard-court record to upset two-time former champion Andy Murray 6-4, 7-5 on Day 1 of men's main-draw action at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Serbian, who was once as high as No. 23 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, had won just four of 16 matches on hard courts since the start of 2022. But the 2019 Monte-Carlo finalist won his first career meeting with Murray to pick up his first hard-court win of the season.
Lajovic’s victory was underpinned by his strong performance on second serve against one of the game’s best returners. He won 72 per cent of second-serve points and saved two of the three break points he faced, while converting all three opportunities on Murray's serve. He failed to serve out the match at 5-4 but after missing two match points from 40/0 in the final game, he closed out the match when Murray framed a forehand at the end of an extended rally.
“When I didn’t close it out I thought it’s happening again,” Lajovic said of Murray’s ability to pull victory from the jaws of defeat this year. “Honestly that last game I was super right at 40/0 and he was able to put pressure on me. Luckily he shanked the last forehand, which he normally doesn’t do.”
Murray ends the ATP Masters 1000 'Sunshine Doubles' with a 2-2 record in Indian Wells and Miami, having reached the third round at the BNP Paribas Open. The 35-year-old Scot slips to 8-5 on the season, highlighted by a run to the Doha final (l. Medvedev).
Lajovic, who also now has an 8-5 record on the season, next faces American serve/volleyer Maxime Cressy. “I don’t like playing guys like him. They try to provoke you and put you under pressure on your own service games. I’ll try to stay mentally stable.”
A second former tournament champion was bundled out on Day 1 of men's action when 21-year-old American Emilio Nava upstaged veteran countryman John Isner 7-6(5), 7-6(4). Nava did not face a break point and withstood 15 aces from the 2018 Miami champion to set a second-round meeting with another American, ninth seed Taylor Fritz.
Editor's note: This report was updated to correct the Lajovic-Murray match score to 6-4, 7-5.