Andy Murray faced Alexander Zverev at every stage, but ultimately couldn’t defeat Germany’s third seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, losing 6-4 7-6 (4).
The former Scottish world number one started the third round clash in good form, rushing to an early break before Zverev could settle into his rhythm and narrowly win the first set.
The second set started off similarly, with Murray again taking a break before allowing Zverev to return to the game.
Murray made the most of some unusual Zverev mistakes to force a tiebreaker, but the 2020 US Open finalist managed to grab the crucial points to advance to the fourth round.
Zverev paid tribute to Murray’s performance in his on-field interview after the game.
“It’s the only Big Four I haven’t beaten yet, so I’m glad I did today,” he said.
“I always stayed in the game, even though I was down in the two sets. I always knew I had a chance. Especially the second set, I think it was an extremely high level for both of us. It could have gone both ways.
“It was obviously a fantastic game. I thought Andy was playing extremely well, maybe as well as he has played since the (hip) operation. I hope he will continue to play the same. way, because he has missed tennis for a long time and I think it’s good to have him back. “