Andy Murray out of Australian Open after losing to Taro Daniel

Andy Murray lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to qualifier and world number 120 Taro Daniel to bow out of the Australian Open.

Andy Murray has been knocked out of Australian Open.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Andy Murray lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to qualifier and world number 120 Taro Daniel to bow out of the Australian Open on Thursday.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of his gruelling five-set battle in the opening round on Tuesday, the 34-year-old Scot looked out of sorts as his inspired Japanese opponent bounced along the baseline, firing winner after winner.

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Former world number one Murray showed no more than flashes of the brilliant tennis that got him to five Australian Open finals as he made 34 unforced errors over the first two sets on John Cain Arena.

To the delight of the crowd, Murray edged ahead at 2-0 in the third set, but Daniel broke back immediately and 45 minutes later had booked his first Grand Slam third-round tie against Steve Johnson or Jannik Sinner.

Murray's win over 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round was his first at the Australian Open since 2017. Injuries and illness kept him out in 2018 (hip), 2020 (pelvis) and 2021 (COVID-19), and he lost a five-setter in the first round in 2019, which many thought might have been his last in Australia.

Elsewhere, fellow Brit Dan Evans is through to the third round after his opponent Arthur Rinderknech withdrew with a wrist injury prior to the start of play.

The 31-year-old will face Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime on Saturday.

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