By Ros Satar

  • Daniil Medvedev [4] def. Andy Murray [PR] 7-5 6-2
  • Ajla Tomljanovic def. Johanna Konta 6-2 7-6(2)
  • Yasutaka Uchiyama [Q] def. Kyle Edmund [3] 7-6(6) 6-4
  • Anastasija Sevastova [8] def. Harriet Dart [Q] 6-2 6-0
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – It proved to be a clean-bowl as all four Brits left in the draw exited the Brisbane International in the second round.

 

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Daniil Medvedev [4] def. Andy Murray [PR] 7-5 6-2

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It is still very much early days for former World No. 1 Andy Murray as he struggled to keep pace with the talented young Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round. Having cut short the home-town favourite James Duckworth on Tuesday, Murray’s winning streak after winning back to back finals here in 2012-2013 was finally snapped in straight sets.

After what looked like a comfortable start, Murray was broken early in the first set, but seemed to have worked out the more unorthodox forehand of the Russian, breaking back to level at 4-4. A wayward game saw the Russian nudge ahead once more with another break before serving out the first set to love.

The momentum stayed very much with the No. 4 seed, who broke Murray twice in succession at the start of the second set as he went on to build up a 4-1 lead over the Brit. Murray would grab another game but it was too much of a gap to make up – albeit just his second match in.

Talking to the Brisbane International website, Murray admitted that his lack of match fitness was easy for Medvedev to take advantage of that.

“If you’re not serving as well, or if you’re not moving as well, the better players exploit that. He is a top player and is able to do that. So I need to try and find a way of working out how to get around some of the things I struggle with a little bit now, and I’ll try to do that.”

 

Ajla Tomljanovic def. Johanna Konta 6-2 7-6(2)

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This time last year, Ajla Tomljanovic could be forgiven for thinking she had the British No. 1 Johanna Konta on the ropes, as she took the first set, only for Konta to come back from behind and advance. Those thoughts might even have been prevalent as Tomljanovic again took control of the opening set, and race away in the second set to a 4-0 lead.

However, we saw a glimmer of the Konta of old as she wrought back the gap, winning the next four games on the spin and even breaking for the lead for the first time in the second set for 6-5. The Aussie broke back to force a tie-break and despite losing the first mini-break, she romped into a lead, closing out the tie-break comfortably.

 

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Yasutaka Uchiyama [Q] def. Kyle Edmund [3] 7-6(6) 6-4

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Perhaps the biggest casualty of the day was British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, who was edged by Japanese qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama. Already with match-play under his belt. Uchiyama deflected three break points from the Brit in two games, hanging tough to a tie-break.

The momentum shifted a couple of times with Edmund having two set points before squandering them for the Japanese player to take the set on his first try. An early break in the second set was all the advantage Uchiyama needed to hold off a rusty Edmund and to send the No. 3 seed out.

 

Anastasija Sevastova [8] def. Harriet Dart [Q] 6-2 6-0

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The least surprising result of the day saw qualifier Harriet Dart finally run out of scheme after winning four games on the trot in Brisbane. Most impressive was her comeback against Aussie wildcard Priscilla Hon – she had admitted that she was struggling after coming through qualifying but her level of fight had been solid.

Dart stayed with the more experienced No. 8 seed Anastasija Sevastova for the first five games before the Latvian broke her twice to take the first set.  Sevastova went on a winning spree to win nine games on the bounce in total, although Dart did not stop fighting, forcing Sevastova to scramble into the quarter-finals on her fourth match point.

The Sydney International starts on 6 January and the Australian open starts on 14 January.

 

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