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Wesley Chapel’s Zverev pulls stunner in Australian Open, beats No. 1 Murray

Wesley Chapel's Zverev pulls stunner in Australian Open, beats No. 1 Murray

  • Wesley Chapel’s Zverev pulls stunner in Australian Open, beats No. 1 Murray 01/22/17 [Last modified: Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:29pm] Photo reprints | Article reprints
  • The last time neither Djokovic nor Murray reached the quarterfinals at a major was when they both lost in the fourth round of the 2007 Australian Open.
  • Murray, a five-time runnerup at the Open, was unable to counter the unrelenting net play of Mischa Zverev, who lives and trains at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, falling 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in a fourth-round match.
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  • Three days after six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic bowed out in the second round, top-ranked Andy Murray followed.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Wesley Chapel’s Saddlebrook made a major splash Sunday Down Under.

@TB_Times: Wesley Chapel’s Zverev pulls stunner in Australian Open, beats No. 1 Murray

MELBOURNE, Australia — Wesley Chapel’s Saddlebrook made a major splash Sunday Down Under.

Three days after six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic bowed out in the second round, top-ranked Andy Murray followed.

Murray, a five-time runnerup at the Open, was unable to counter the unrelenting net play of Mischa Zverev, who lives and trains at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, falling 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in a fourth-round match.

The last time neither Djokovic nor Murray reached the quarterfinals at a major was when they both lost in the fourth round of the 2007 Australian Open. Then seeded 14th and 15th, they lost to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

On the women’s side, top-ranked Angelique Kerber, the defending champ, put up little resistance in a 6-2, 6-3 pummeling by 35th-ranked American CoCo Vandeweghe.

Zverev, 29, ranked 50th, ambushed Murray with spectacular net play, sky-hook overheads that fell near the line and stab volleys that just dipped over the net. In an era dominated by baseline rallies, Zverev disrupted Murray by coming to the net 118 times in the 3-hour, 34-minute match, winning 65 of those points. “I was in a little coma, and just serve-and-volleying my way through it,” said Zverev, who was born in Hamburg, Germany.

Murray said Zverev’s execution, not tactics, proved his undoing, adding that his opponent “deserved to win.”

Kerber’s destruction came in different fashion, with Vandeweghe’s bludgeoning serve and groundstrokes blasting through Kerber’s soft defenses. Vandeweghe hit 30 winners, Kerber seven.

In other notable fourth-round matches, No. 17 and four-time champ Federer upset No. 5 Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3; No. 4 Stan Wawrinka beat Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4); and No. 13 Venus Williams beat Mona Barthel 6-3, 7-5.

Wesley Chapel’s Zverev pulls stunner in Australian Open, beats No. 1 Murray

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