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Isner’s career comes to an end, Murray and Monfils also crash out of U.S. Open

It was painful conclusion but also a fitting one in a way for John Isner.

Playing the final tournament of his career at the U.S. Open, Isner came within one point of advancing to round three but ended up losing in five sets to Michael Mmoh after three hours and 57 minutes on Thursday afternoon. Mmoh saved a match point at 4-5, 30-40 before prevailing 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(7).

“This is why I’ve worked as hard as I have my whole life, to play in atmospheres like this,” Isner said during his on-court interview. “I might not win them all, as we know, just like today. To play in front of this crowd and have the support I’ve had is pretty special.”

Being on this stage is also the reason why Andy Murray is still grinding away on tour, four years after announcing his own retirement plans at the 2019 Australian Open. Successful hip surgery later that year changed Murray’s plans, though, and he is not only still on tour but also back up to 37th in the rankings.

In round two of this event, however, he was no match for fellow veteran and familiar foe Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian cruised 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

“It’s obviously disappointing to not play how you would like,” Murray admitted. “It’s unbelievably challenging to play at the highest level as I am now. And, yeah, some days it’s harder than others. But today is obviously a really disappointing defeat–and probably the manner of it, as well. I fought hard enough, but just didn’t play well enough.

“You know, ultimately these are the events that you want to play your best tennis in, and create more great moments. (I) didn’t do that this year.”

Also presumably in the final stages of his career, Gael Monfils bowed out from New York with a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 loss to Andrey Rublev. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka is still flying the flag for the old guard; he scraped past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.