Andy Murray’s brave Australian Open run ground to a halt against Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spaniard fending off the former world number one 6-1 6-7(7) 6-3 6-4 in the third round on Saturday.
After back-to-back five-set wins over Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis, a ragged Murray hung tough against the 24th seed but was gradually worn down over the course of the three-and-a-half hour slog at a floodlit Margaret Court Arena.
With the crowd firmly in his corner, Murray broke Bautista Agut in the first game of the fourth set to raise hopes of levelling the match but ended up squandering a 2-0 lead before dropping serve in the ninth game.
The spent Scot soon fired a cross-court forehand long to concede match point and netted a weary backhand return to bow out, triggering manic celebrations by Bautista Agut, who will play American Tommy Paul for a place in the quarter-finals.
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