Miami (USA), Mar 23 (IANS): Two-time former champion Andy Murray suffered a 6-4, 7-5 defeat at the hands of Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the opening round of the Miami Open, here.
Wednesday's match was Lajovic's first career meeting with Murray, where he picked up his first hard-court win of the season. He will next play against American Maxime Cressy. Whoever wins might play World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the third round.
Lajovic's victory was underpinned by his strong performance on second serve against one of the game's best returners. He won 72 percent of second-serve points and saved two of the three break points he faced, while converting all three opportunities on Murray's serve.
The Serbian 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. 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," Lajovic was quoted as saying by ATP Tour.
The 32-year-old Serbian, who was once as high as No. 23 in the ATP Rankings, had won just four of 16 matches on hard courts since the start of 2022.
In another major upset of the day, the 21-year-old wild card American Emilio Nava ousted the compatriot John Ishner, who was the 2018 Miami Open singles winner and runner-up in 2019, in two tie-breaks, 7-6(5) and 7-6(4), to set a second-round encounter against countryman Taylor Fritz.
"To play John Isner on a stage like this, you don't get it too often, but I tried to make the most out of it and believe I played well. John is one of the greatest servers of all time and sometimes I didn't even see it (the serve), but it was an amazing match, and I am so happy to be able to win," Nava said after obtaining his first Masters-1000 win.