Andy Murray's comeback bid ends abruptly after Round 2 defeat in Queen's to Matteo Berrettini
The World No 9 Berrettini broke Murray twice in the first set and took an early break in the second for a 3-0 lead. He never looked back, mixing powerful groundstrokes with some deft touches at the net.
London: Andy Murray's latest comeback came to an abrupt end in the second round at Queen's on Thursday as top seed Matteo Berrettini outclassed the former World No 1 6-3, 6-3.
The British three-time Grand Slam champion chased after several Berrettini thunderbolts without showing signs of being troubled by the groin problem that had prevented him playing singles since March.
However, the result showed the size of the task facing Murray, who has won the grasscourt tournament on five occasions, as he prepares for Wimbledon, which starts on 28 June.
The Italian's big serve took centrestage in London as he saved all three break points he faced during the match, which lasted an hour and 25 minutes.
The World No 9, 25, broke Murray twice in the first set and took an early break in the second for a 3-0 lead. He never looked back, mixing powerful groundstrokes with some deft touches at the net.
Berrettini will face another British player, Dan Evans, in Friday's quarter-finals. Evans beat France's Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).
"This was really hard. We all know who Andy is, he is a great player and he was always there even until the last point," said Berrettini. "I'm really happy for my performance.
"I know how tough it is to come back from an injury, so I wish him the best of luck. I think he played great today. I played better. I am just happy that he is back."
Carlos Alcaraz will be 19 years, 214 days on 5 December, the 2022 year-end ranking date when he will take the mantle of youngest from Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who was 20 years, 275 days in 2001.
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