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Murray's French Open challenge finishes in gloom

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Andy Murray looks dejected during his men's singles fourth round match with Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic at the French Open

Andy Murray looks dejected during his men's singles fourth round match with Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic at the French Open

Andy Murray looks dejected during his men's singles fourth round match with Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic at the French Open

Andy Murray last night said he should have been allowed to call a halt to his French Open clash with Tomas Berdych after crashing out of the tournament in the fourth round.

An angry Murray was blasted off Suzanne Lenglen Court after failing to get to grips with his opponent's raw power, going down 6-4 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes in what was another rain-affected match that did not finish until 9.34pm local time.

And it was both the fading light and the weather which sparked a succession of furious outbursts from Murray, who was unhappy with the condition of the court following a 36-minute delay midway through the match.

“I don't want to make excuses about the match,” said Murray, who nevertheless feels players should decide when matches are suspended due to bad light.

“It shouldn't necessarily be down to the supervisor to make the call because he's not the one playing.

“Not every single person's eyesight is as good as another's.

“If one guy doesn't want to play or is finding it hard to see then we should stop.

“You don't normally gain a whole lot by playing an extra 10 minutes or so.

“Maybe just let the players decide if they don't think they can see, they stop. It's only a difference of 10 minutes or so.”

The 23-year-old added: “I would have liked to have come off when it was difficult to see. I wasn't the one who complained about it first.

“The balls were gathering a lot of clay. If it's a nice, sunny day, the balls aren't changing colour. The balls aren't brown at the end of the match.

“And it was tough to see at the end.”

Murray's frustration repeatedly boiled over on court, the Scot complaining to Cedric Mourier during the rain delay: “The court's wet enough as it is.

“Look at the court rather than the weather.”

His mood did not improve when play resumed, screaming, “How are we meant to play when we can't stand on the court?”, as well as an expletive before dropping serve at 5-5 in the second set.

That was having broken back before the rain delay.

He said afterwards: “I didn't really get frustrated until the end of the second set. I didn't really say much on court at all.

“I knew against him, you need to expect him to hit a lot of winners, take a lot of chances. You need to try to be solid and stable and make sure that you just hang in there, because you'll get chances.

“I got myself back into it and struggled when we came back out from the rain delay. But he played a good match. He hit a big ball.

“It was very heavy conditions and he was striking the ball really well.”

Roger Federer eased through to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 |7-6 6-2 win over Stanislas Wawrinka, while Venus Williams lost 6-4 6-3 to Nadia Petrova.

Belfast Telegraph