Andy Murray - US Open 2023

Andy Murray admits ‘it is not easy to compete’ after sixth successive defeat

Andy Murray has suffered yet another defeat, being beaten in the first round in Marseille to Czech player Tomas Machac. 

Murray was beaten, 5-7 4-6, on the indoor hard courts in southern France, in the former No.1’s sixth consecutive defeat that dates back to October.

The 36-year-old last won on the ATP Tour against Yannick Hanfmann in Basel, with nine defeats in his last 10 competitive matches.

However, Murray appears to believe that his successful training sessions will come to fruition in time, “The only way to find solutions to win matches. It can also be played out in training, working on your game and sensations. But what happens in training doesn’t always translate into a match.

“In 2016, when I finished world number 1, my coach told me that I had maybe won two or three training sets during the whole year… This year, I won almost all of them and I can’t win a single match! You have to perform in competition, that’s the only thing that counts.”

Murray has suggested that he may drop down to ATP Challenger level, something that he did last year and resulted in winning titles in Aix en Provence, Nottingham and Surbiton.

And he does not seem to be considering retirement just yet, “Maybe I will have to play in Challengers. The easiest thing for me would have been to leave my career. But I continue because I love the game, I love to train.”

The world No.49 continued, “At the moment, without a doubt, it is not easy to compete. But what is happening now does not affect my career. No number of defeats will change what I achieved when I was in shape and with two hips. But when you can’t win, you also lose confidence. I’ve never experienced that in my career.

“In Beijing and Bercy last year, I lost two matches against [Alex] de Minaur while serving for the match, with match points. This happened over the last three months. It only happens very rarely to lose in these conditions. But he is top 10 and I lost narrowly, like against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas or [Tommy] Paul. I can be competitive.”

Murray is next scheduled to compete in the Middle East at tournaments in Doha and Dubai, having to defend runner-up points at the former event.

Inside the baseline…

It is a tough period in Andy Murray’s career, but after all his fitness woes this is far from the lowest point in the former No.1’s tenure as a professional tennis player. The thing that Murray needs to and seems to be taking is that he is rarely brushed aside by any opponents, but just seems to be lacking that cutting edge at the moment. Dropping down to the Challenger scene will probably be the best idea following Indian Wells and Miami, especially as the clay court season will not be a likely place for him to begin picking up wins on the main tour.

READ MORE – Andy Murray Schedule: Where is the three-time Grand Slam champion attempting to return to form?

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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.