Andy Murray and partner Marcelo Melo lose in straight sets on return to Eastbourne in men's doubles

Evening Standard

Andy Murray's hopes of following up his Queen's doubles triumph ended in disappointment after a straight sets defeat at the Eastbourne International Open.

The Scot tasted success on his return to action with Feliciano Lopez last week but struggled to find the same connection with Brazilian Marcelo Melo.

The pair were swept aside in the first set by the experienced Colombian duo Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal, going down 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court in just over an hour of play.

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A sold-out crowd turned up to see the 32-year-old back in action and, while the limitations to his game are evident due to his hip problem, his undeniable ability was just as clear to see.

Time after time, the former world number one was forced to pull out superb shots when asked but his partner Melo struggled to live up to the same form in the first set.

Cabal and Farah were looking extremely confident on their serve and that proved to be the difference as they strolled to a 6-2 lead.

Melo began to find his feet and improved in the second, but the pair suffered a break early in the second set which left them on the back foot.

Murray continued to show glimpses of his ability, digging out a stunning passing backhand winner at 4-3, but the combination of Cabal and Farah proved to be too strong.

Despite clinging on for much of the second set, it proved to be in vain as Cabal's serving was both powerful and accurate. Armed with two match points, he sent Melo wide and not even the towering Brazilian could reach it.

Murray's doubles journey may be at an end at Eastbourne, but perhaps it's just the start of his comeback of his singles career.

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