Serena, Murray sent packing

WILLIAMS SEND PACKINGMIAMI. — World number one and three-time defending champion Serena Williams and second-ranked Andy Murray both crashed out of the ATP and WTA Miami Open tennis tournament on a day filled with upsets on Monday.

Russian 15th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova stunned 21-time Grand Slam champion Williams 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-2 while British world number two Murray dropped a third-round match to Bulgarian 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-3.

Williams and Murray each made 55 unforced errors, fading in the third set when it mattered most.

“A lot of unforced errors crept in and he was a lot more solid than me,” said Murray, who had 22 unforced errors in the last set alone. “I made many more mistakes than usual, especially in the third set.”

Williams’ struggles prompted questions about her fitness and movement, irking the 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to criticize my movement right now,” Williams said. “I did the best I could. I can’t win every match. These players come out and give their best. I have to give 300 percent every match.”

The 34-year-old American was seeking her ninth Miami crown but instead matched her earliest-ever exit from 2000 with a fourth-round departure.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but I have won here a lot, so it’s OK,” Williams said.

Also ousted were world number two Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, eliminated by 20th-ranked Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza, who fell 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) to 13th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Only two of the top 12 seeds — number two Angelique Kerber and number five Simona Halep — remain on the women’s side. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is the last top-five man remaining and only three of the men’s top eight made the last 16.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Murray failed in his bid for a third Miami trophy and fourth final in five seasons.

The 28-year-old Scotsman dominated the tie-breaker but fell behind 4-0 in the second set and stumbled after leading 3-1 in the third, swatting a forehand long on match point to fall after two hours and 24 minutes. — AFP.

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