For the fifth time in the head-to-head, Murray could not solve de Minaur's riddle, and he may never get a better chance to do so. The former World No. 1 came within a point from winning the match, but the Australian thwarted him each time - or it could be said Murray thwarted himself at least on two occasions.
Murray had two match points on De Minaur's serve while 5-2 up in the deciding set, the first of which was saved with a perfect ace. A second one was makeable, but a tentative forehand by Murray on a neutral point was the first sign of his implosion in the third set.
Earlier during the match, Murray had smashed his racket repeatedly on the ground in frustration after giving back his break advantage in the second set. He received a code violation from the chair umpire. But he managed to regroup and channel his focus in the right direction to restore parity, which he did by winning the second set 7-5.
But after squandering the first two match points on de Minaur's serve, he failed to serve out the match at 5-3. Eventually, it was a tiebreak that settled matters. Murray fashioned another match point, this time on his own serve at 6-5 in the breaker.
Again, his forehand let him down, firing it out of the tramlines. The Aussie needed just one match point of his own to win, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6) in a near three-hour thriller.
Immediately after shaking hands with de Minaur, Murray shoved the television camera away from his reach and could be seen yelling, 'move' towards the operator. The Scot hastily left the court, and it was hard not to feel sorry for him after battling so hard and letting the match slip through his fingertips.