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Andy Murray suffers shock Australian Open defeat

Andy Murray shouts in frustration. Photo: PA

Andy Murray's hopes of a first Australian Open title blew up in smoke as the world number one tumbled out in the fourth round to an inspired Mischa Zverev.

Murray had been the outstanding favourite in Melbourne following Novak Djokovic's early exit but the Scot was woefully out of sorts on Rod Laver Arena as world number 50 Zverev sealed a shock 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 victory.

It is only the fourth time Murray has lost to an opponent ranked outside the top 40 at a grand slam and his first since 2007.

Zverev, who was playing his first ever grand slam fourth round, will now face either Roger Federer or Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

Murray (left) congratulates Zverev at the net. Credit: PA

The German is a throwback to the old days of serve and volley and he simply bamboozled Murray, usually so adept at the areas of pass and lob, with a brilliant display at the net.

"I was in a little coma," Zverev said on court afterwards. "I just served and volleyed my way through it.

"There were a few points where I don't know how I pulled it off but somehow I made it."

Zverev's younger brother Alexander, the much more fancied of the two siblings and sitting in his box, had stretched Rafael Nadal to five sets less than 24 hours before, but Mischa went one step further by inflicting arguably the biggest shock of Murray's career.

I don't think I was flat. I feel like that's something I get asked all the time when I lose matches. Were you flat? I don't think I was today

– Andy Murray on the defeat
Murray lost eight service games and never coped with his opponent's volleying style. Credit: PA

Asked after the loss if he felt flat, Murray answered: "I don't think I was flat. I feel like that's something I get asked all the time when I lose matches. Were you flat? I don't think I was today.

"I was getting myself pumped up. Sometimes at the end of the sets I was trying to get a little more energy, show more sort of positive body language.

"And I did that at the end of the match, at the end of the first and second sets. It just wasn't to be today."