Andy Murray launched a mid-match rant after he was accidentally given a ball from the women’s matches before beating Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in straight sets in the second round of the Miami Open.
Murray had to wait most of the first week to begin his campaign in Key Biscayne after a first-round bye, and it perhaps showed in an up-and-down performance before the British No 1 eventually came through 6-3 7-5 in an hour and 38 minutes.
Murray was serving in the fifth game of the second set when he was given a lighter ball being used for the women’s tournament and he was not impressed, with his comments being picked up by court-side microphones and broadcast on Sky Sports 3.
Murray was heard to say: “That’s one of the women’s balls and I could have hit a shot with it.”
After dropping his serve for the first time in the match to go 3-2 behind in the set, Murray continued his rant at the change of ends when he exchanged words with umpire Mohamed Lahyani.
He said: “For me that’s not good enough, it’s unacceptable.
“Unacceptable to have one of those balls in there.”
Reflecting on his performance, Murray told atpworldtour.com: “I was hitting the ball cleanly.
“It’s just the shot selection tonight could have been better, I think,” he added.
Bulgarian 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov will be Murray’s next opponent.
The Scot said: “He is obviously a top-quality player.
“He had a good win today, a tough win, against (Federico) Delbonis.
“We played here once before; I managed to win that one.
“I played a bunch of tough matches against him.
“I think the last one was in Cincinnati where he had a match point.
“He had a bunch of chances to win that one and I managed to turn it around.
“I know I’ll need to play good tennis and be a little bit more disciplined than I was tonight.”
Meanwhile, Kyle Edmund gave a display of his quality but could not stave off a straight-sets loss to Novak Djokovic.
The Beverley-based 21-year-old lost 6-3 6-3 on the Stadium court in round two.
World No 1 Djokovic stamped his authority on the first set in the early stages, storming into a 4-0 lead before Edmund finally got on the board surprisingly, via a break of serve.
That helped him win three games out of four, but Djokovic closed out the set and then broke twice in the second to close out victory.
Injury forced Britain’s Aljaz Bedene to withdraw from his match against Spain’s world No 18 Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round at the Miami Open.
Bedene lost the first set 7-5 and, though he went up a break at the start of the second, he appeared to injure his right wrist in the process.
He received treatment and played on but, after Bautista Agut broke back in game four, he gave in to the injury.
Meanwhile, British women’s number one Johanna Konta reached the last 16 of the Miami Open after seeing off Russian Elena Vesnina in a third-set tie-break.
Konta dropped the first set but came back to win the second emphatically before pulling through in a tight decider, winning 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7/3) in two hours and 24 minutes.
A single break in the seventh game let Vesnina win the opener.
But Konta was a different player in the second set.
She quickly went down a mini-break at 1-2 in the final set tie-break, but drew level straight away and, from 3-3 at the change of ends, she pulled away to win and set up a clash with Romania’s Monica Niculescu, a straight-sets winner over CoCo Vandeweghe.