In Brief

Andy Murray loses in Brisbane, Rafa Nadal pulls out

Scottish star defeated in second match of his latest comeback as other Brits also tumble out

Andy Murray’s preparations for the Australian Open have come to a halt at the Brisbane International after he was beaten by Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

Murray, who has slipped to 240 in the rankings, lost 7-5 6-2 to the 22-year-old world No. 16.

“The defeat brings to a halt the Scot’s latest comeback, having returned to competitive action this week after three months out from the sport,” says The Independent.  “Murray brought his 2018 season to an early end in order to focus on his recovery from a long-term hip injury.”

The 31-year-old beat James Duckworth in the first round and afterwards admitted he was not sure how long he could continue in the sport. But despite his “comprehensive” defeat to Medvedev in just 81 minutes, there “were encouraging signs that his body is holding up to the rigours of top-level tennis”, says The Sun, which notes that Murray underwent hip surgery last year and played only six tournaments in 2018.

According to the BBC: “Murray competed well in the opening set against a player regarded as one of the rising stars on the ATP Tour, but his lack of fitness and match practice eventually showed, understandably, in the early stage of another return.”

Another injury-plagued superstar, Rafa Nadal, was forced to pull out of the tournament with a thigh strain. The world No. 2 has been ordered to rest the injury in order to be fit for the Australian Open which starts on January 14.

The Daily Mail notes that the Spaniard “was limited to nine tournaments last year due to a string of injuries which included ankle surgery in November”.

The only other two Britons left in the tournament, Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta, also lost in the second round.

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