Fans have been left gutted after Andy Murray copped another brutal loss at an ATP challenger event, despite showing promising form in his hard-court swing.
The three-time Grand Slam champion picked up first round wins at the Southern & Western Open and Winston-Salem ahead of his US Open bid.
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And despite falling to a red-hot Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the US Open, in a controversial five-set thriller, Murray showed signs of his old bullish self.
However, the Scot appeared to run out of steam at the Rennes Challenger event after falling to World No.158 Roman Safiullin 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the Last 16.
Murray, World No.116, entered the challenger event as the fifth-seed wildcard, but was someway off his best.
Fans took to social media to express their concern over Murray's performance, despite the Scot fighting till the end.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 15, 2021
Murray's big swings in quality from tournament to tournament - and sometimes from match to match - is natural and very common in the tennis world. However, it's not common for Andy Murray which is what makes this feel almost eerie.
— Erik Jonsson (@erktennis) September 15, 2021
yes andy murray just almost got bagelled at a challenger, yes he is still the goat idc
— angel😇ina (@angleinaconte) September 15, 2021
Surely it's time for Andy Murray to retire and leave us with good memories rather than getting hammered off journeymen, sad to see.
— jeff smith (@jeffsmith2005) September 15, 2021
He also just recently took the World Number 3 to 5 sets in a Grand Slam tournament, a match he was very unlucky lose. To get past this erratic form, he needs to play matches and his head in the match, that’s the part he’s struggling with in my opinion.
— Ian Dent (@Yarnsey) September 15, 2021
That was a retirement performance from Andy Murray tonight. Worrying.
— Stevie P : Respect Has to be Earned. (@parkhurstchall) September 15, 2021
It's difficult to watch,but I understand why he wants to keep going!
— Laurie Newton (@mrnice1892) September 15, 2021
After the relative positive of his US Open showing, Andy Murray takes another step back after losing to the world number 158 in the 2nd round of a challenger event in Rennes. Just doesn't seem able to get any sort of momentum going.
— PNL (@PnlChelsea) September 15, 2021
Andy Murray currently getting binned in the second round of a Challenger event. 😐
Don't get me wrong, he has more than earned the right to play as long as he wants - but...
— Martin Ingram (@air_ingy) September 15, 2021
Andy Murray praises Emma Raducanu's US Open win
Nine years after Murray won the first of his three grand slam titles at the US Open, 18-year-old Raducanu stunned the tennis world by beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu, the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title, did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
And Murray discussed the incredible teenagers fairytale run.
"It was incredible what she did there," Murray, who himself ended Britain's 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion when he beat Novak Djokovic in the 2012 final, told the BBC.
"What she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport. It's great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now."