Morning Chronicle - Murray ousted by Bublik at ATP Hall of Fame Open

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Murray ousted by Bublik at ATP Hall of Fame Open
Murray ousted by Bublik at ATP Hall of Fame Open / Photo: Valery HACHE - AFP/File

Murray ousted by Bublik at ATP Hall of Fame Open

Britain's former world number one Andy Murray was knocked out of the ATP Hall of Fame Open, falling to Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik 7-5, 6-4 in a Friday quarter-final.

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World number 42 Bublik fired 12 aces against five double faults and won 80% of his first serve points to eliminate the 35-year-old Scotsman in the grass-court event.

"It's great to be in the semi-finals again," Bublik said. "I don't have any tournaments the next two or three weeks so I'm engaged. I want to get as many matches as I can."

In Saturday's semi-finals, Bublik will face the winner of a later match between Australia's 102nd-ranked Jason Kubler, who upset Canadian top seed Félix Auger-Aliassime, and 74th-ranked Aussie James Duckworth.

Americans John Isner and Maxime Cressy meet in Saturday's other semi-final.

Former world number one Murray is a three-time Grand Slam champion, winning the 2012 US Open and 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon titles as well as Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016.

Murray, ranked 52nd, was chasing a 47th career ATP crown while Bublik, 25, won his first ATP title at Montpellier in February.

Injury-nagged Murray has not won a title since the 2019 European Open but was runner-up in January at Sydney and last month in Stuttgart.

Bublik improved to 2-3 against Murray and has split their four meetings this year.

Murray's first double fault gave Bublik the match's first break point and he took advantage with a backhand winner to seize a 6-5 lead, then held on a service winner to claim the first set after 57 minutes.

Murray double faulted to surrender a break to open the second set, but Murray broke back level at 1-1 on a successful challenge when a Bublik shot was ruled out.

After a foot fault call that irked Bublik, he broke again for a 4-3 lead and held twice to take the victory after one hour and 47 minutes.