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Lawn Tennis: Below-par Murray pays for service wobbles.

Andy Murray struggled with his service game as he crashed out of the Hamburg Masters by American James Blake 6-3, 6-3.

The 19-year-old could not get any rhythm going against the world No 7, the hardcourt specialist who looked for all the world like an accomplished clay-courter.

Murray, still looking for a new coach after axing Mark Petchey, was broken in the first game but responded well to break back.

The American went 3-2 up on Murray's serve as the Scot got an unlucky deflection off the netcord and an unforced error in the seventh game by Murray saw Blake take the third break point on offer.

Though the British No 2 broke to make it 5-3, his opponent hit back to close out the set, winning it with a backhand volley after charging to the net.

Frustration really began to set in in the second set as a series of unforced errors led to him swiping his racket across the ground.

He was quickly 2-0 down but an inspired cross-court pass helped him make it 2-1. But again the serve let Murray down as Blake broke back again. One well-controlled point ended with Murray leaving his opponent stranded with a topspin lob and making it 3-2, but Blake responded by breaking and the final three games went with serve.

Blake took the first of three match points on serve to book a third-round meeting with Croatia's Mario Ancic.


Andy Murray unleashes a serve in Hamburg but his delivery proved his downfall against James Blake
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 18, 2006
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