Andy Murray suffers earliest ever Shanghai Masters exit in first-round loss to Roman Safiullin

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

An angry and frustrated Andy Murray endured his earliest ever exit at the Shanghai Masters in a first-round loss to Roman Safiullin on Wednesday.

On paper, it looked a perfect match-up with Murray just a place above the Russian in the ATP rankings at 40th in the world.

But Safiullin, up to a career-high singles ranking in the latter stages of the 2023 season, ensured it was thoroughly one-sided affair as he beat the three-time champion Murray 6-3, 6-2.

The 26-year-old produced some of his best tennis to run Murray ragged, his 36-year-old opponent unable to match him over the course of two sets.

But Murray, who smashed his racket in frustration at one point, was undone by some poor serving, managing to get barely 50 per cent of his first serves in, and he was rushed throughout the match.

In truth, the match was tighter than the scoreline suggested, the second set feeling like it could have gone either way for much of it.

In the end, Safiullin was the far more clinical, converting five of break points while Murray managed to make just one of seven count.

Safiullin is due to play Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the next round.