Andy Murray - Shanghai Masters 2023

Andy Murray admits he is ‘not really enjoying’ being on court at the moment

Andy Murray has admitted that he hasn’t enjoyed being on court ‘the last five, six months’, after he gave up a 5-2 lead against Alex de Minaur for a second consecutive meeting.

Murray had played the Australian in Beijing last month, where he failed to convert three match points before being beaten

And it was a similar situation in the first round of the Paris Masters, where Murray has been unable to win a single match since lifting the title back in 2016.

The British No.3 had lost the first set to the 13th seed, despite having three set points, but bounced back well to claim the second.

Murray then put himself in a good position in the decider with a double break on De Minaur, but could not convert his single match point and lost five consecutive games to fall to a, 6(5)-7 6-4 5-7, defeat.

This was the sixth meeting between the pair, with De Minaur winning every single one of those and his British No.1 girlfriend Katie Boulter revealed on social media that she did not want them to play each other anymore, “Had enough Alex and Andy for the rest of my life. No more please and thank you.”

It seems as though Murray is fed up with not just the matchup, but tennis in general at the moment, “I don’t feel like I played particularly well today and I’m still in a three-set match with a guy ranked 13 in the world. It’s frustrating. I’m not really enjoying it just now I would say just in terms of how I feel on the court and how I’m playing.”

The 36-year-old continued, “The last five, six months haven’t been that enjoyable, which doesn’t help things, so I need to try and find some of that enjoyment back because playing a match like that there’s not really much positivity there.

“When I play a good point, I’m not really getting behind myself and then in the important moments, that will to win and fight that has always been quite a big, big part of my game. Like I said, what happened today, I don’t remember it happening before, but it’s very, very rare. Those sorts of situations happen quite a lot this year, and that’s not really me. It’s not enjoyable.”

Murray has won three ATP Challenger titles this year, but his form since winning the grass court title in Nottingham has been less than desirable, having won only eight of his last 17 matches.

The No.40 has reflected on his second half of the season, “It’s just the way that I’m feeling and sort of playing on the court.There’s a few small signs over in the States at the beginning of the trip there but certainly nothing that’s been sustainable or consistent.

“The grass court season was disappointing really. Obviously winning the Challengers is good, but it’s not the level that I necessarily want to be competing at. On the whole it’s not been good.”

Murray continued to speak about how he’s finding ‘frustration’ with both practice and competition, but seemed keen to continue working on his game.

“I have found the matches frustrating, the competition not as enjoyable as it should be. And then in practice there’s just a lot of frustration there with my game,” explained Murray. “Sometimes you play really well in practice and it doesn’t necessarily translate onto the match court, but you at least feel like you’re getting somewhere. Whereas for the most part in practice it’s not been great. A lot of frustration there in training and that’s kind of carrying over into the matches.

“Rather than when I’m on the court competing and it just being about, ‘Let’s try and get the win over the guy in front of you.’ I’m spending a lot of time focusing on myself and how I’m feeling and how my shots are and just getting extremely frustrated with that. It’s not a great place to be on the court.”

The three-time major winner concluded, “If I want to keep going, I’m going to need a lot of work. It’s not like the off-season or whatever, it’s not just going to be like one or two weeks of training to get me to where I need to get to, it’s going to have to be a lot of work and consistent work to give myself a chance of getting back to where I want to be.”

Despite his early exit from the Paris Masters, Murray is scheduled to remain in France for the ATP 250 tournament in Metz next week, before preparation begins for Great Britain’s Davis Cup quarter-final tie with Novak Djokovic’s Serbia.

Inside the baseline:

Murray is as frustrating for himself as he is for those watching at the moment, with the former No.1 always seeming to be competitive in matches against all types of opponents. However, that killer instinct seems to be missing at the moment, which is no doubt reducing Murray’s confidence in his ability to win big matches anymore. Murray also seems to be spending a long time on court in most matches, with his defeat to De Minaur lasting over three hours, and so when he does win there is not as much in the tank for the next round.

READ MORE – Dan Evans ‘extremely disappointed’ to withdraw from Davis Cup as Great Britain face major setback

Andy Murray in 2023

Despite the current woes for Murray, he has reached an ATP Final, won three Challenger titles and reached his highest ranking (No.36) since hip surgery this year.

Here are some of Murray’s stats for the 2023 season:

Overall win-loss record: 31-19 (62%)

Grand Slam win-loss record: 4-3 (57%)

ATP Tour win-loss record: 12-15 (44%)

ATP Challenger win-loss record: 15-1 (94%)

Best Results: Doha Final (ATP 250), Won Aix en Provence (ATP Challenger), Surbiton (ATP Challenger) and Nottingham (ATP Challenger)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.