[QODLink]
Tennis

Murray loses comeback match to Tsonga

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Britain's Andy Murray in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Tennis Championship.

Last updated: 27 Dec 2013 09:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The match in Abu Dhabi was Andy Murray's after a three-month layoff following back surgery [AFP]

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has lost his comeback match from injury in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Tennis Championship.

Murray, who has dropped to number four in the rankings, lost 7-5, 6-3 to wolrd number four Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 72 minutes on Thursday, after returning from a three-month layoff following back surgery.

The court was very quick and needed quick reaction. Tsonga was definitely sharper

Andy Murray, World number four men's singles tennis player

Tsonga will meet Novak Djokovic, the world number two, in the semi-finals of the exhibition event on Friday, while world number one Rafael Nadal will take on Spanish compatriot David Ferrer in the other semi.

World number three Ferrer, who last week dumped his longtime coach Javier Piles, beat Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-5, 6-1.

Murray will get more match practice when he meets Wawrinka in a fifth-place play-off.

The Scot, who had not played since Davis Cup in mid-September, kept pace with Tsonga until 5-5.

Even to that point, Murray's rustiness was obvious with accumulating unforced errors.

After Tsonga broke Murray for the first time, he stayed in charge.

Murray admitted he was sluggish upon his return.

"The court was very quick and needed quick reaction," he said.

"Tsonga was definitely sharper."

Tsonga has had his own injury problems this year and did not compete in the US Open because of a knee injury that had forced him to withdraw during his second-round match at Wimbledon.

"I was feeling fine with my body and the knee, and this win over someone like Murray is going to give me great confidence as I start the new season," Tsonga said.

The event features six of the world's top 10 men's singles players.

305

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.