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Fans of Andrew Murray have suffered a real turnaround in fortunes this last fortnight, after the Brit crashed out early of both the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters to leave his preparations for the US Open in tatters.

Murray flew to North America buoyed by Olympic Games success, in which he defied the Tennis Odds to beat rival Roger Federer 6-2 6-1 6-4 on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, yet the strains of that victory immediately took their toll.

For Murray was forced to retire injured in the second round of Toronto, having just beaten Flavio Cipolla 6-1 6-3. The Scot needed treatment on his left knee during the game and it was clear he was in serious discomfort as the match progressed.

Yet his rest from Toronto was meant to calm down any niggling worries ahead of the Cincinnati Masters. This was to be Murray’s triumph: a marker for his rivals that he was on course to claim his first Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

So his somewhat surprising 4-6 4-6 defeat to Jeremy Chardy throws the form book out of the window, with critics suggesting the 25-year-old has not adapted well to his return to hard courts.

This would certainly seem so as Murray hit 16 unforced errors in the second set against Chardy and looked out of place on the hard surface. His performance will only boost rivals Federer and Novak Djokovic, who are both looking to win their second Grand Slam of the season.

With Rafael Nadal out of the tournament,Murray’s US Open Tennis Odds had been given a boost and there were genuine hopes he would mount a serious challenge on the title. Yet his body appears to have let him down again, and without an ounce of form heading into the fastest Grand Slam of the season he may well be swept away in an early round.
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