The last remaining Brit in action at the ITF Futures $50k in Surbiton, UK this week, Sam Murray, was beaten in the quarter-finals on Friday by former top 40 player Melanie Oudin of the United States to end British interest at the event slightly earlier than many had hoped.
— Samantha Murray (@SamMurray87) June 10, 2016
Murray was the last Brit standing in both the women’s and men’s events, after top seed Dan Evans, among others, had exited the tournament in either the first or second rounds. Wildcard Murray, however, had continued her encouraging comeback from injury with two impressive wins, firstly against second seed Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan in the first round and then against fellow Brit and wildcard Gabi Taylor, dropping just three games against the 18-year-old to book a clash with Oudin in the quarters.
And it wasn’t a bad clash between the two, with both players ranked far lower than their ability – and indeed their career high rankings – would suggest they ought to be. Murray, with a career high of #165 and a current ranking of #882, was definitively the underdog against Oudin, the former world #31 and current #336 four years her junior. And it showed in the end, with a tight first set going the way of the American before Murray’s resistance faded, going down 7-5 6-2 and converting just 1 out of 9 break points throughout the match.
15 points for the 28-year-old, however, will go a long way to pushing the former Northwestern University student athlete back towards the top 500, and with a 2016 win-loss record of 13-5, it certainly looks like Murray has timed her comeback to perfection. We continue to look forward to monitoring her progress.