Andy Murray - Miami Open 2023

Andy Murray: I’ve never experienced a period like this as a professional

Andy Murray has lost seven of his last eight matches, but the former No.1 still appears to have belief and revealed that he is ‘not going to stop’.

Murray has been on the wrong side of the result in his last four matches, with the most recent coming in the first round in Marseille to Tomas Machac.

And the 36-year-old has admitted that it is nothing like he has ever experienced before, “Tennis-wise it hasn’t been a great start to the year. I’ve never experienced a period like this as a professional. It’s been difficult, a new experience for me (which) is not the nicest, but good to experience new things and try and learn from them.

“When I do get myself out of it and start to feel better, hopefully I’ll be stronger for it, but it’s been hard. I’ve not been playing well and winning as many matches as I would like, so I’m hoping I can turn it around here.”

The three-time major winner was asked about whether he thought his recent drop in form was due to a physical or mental barrier, “It’s probably a combination of the two. Physically I’m not expecting to feel how I did when I was 20, so it’s hard when you get to your mid to late 30s to stay at the level required to beat the best players. Certainly, tennis-wise I know I can play a lot better than I have been.”

Murray also revealed that he has been practicing well, which is not something that the Brit has been used to, “I’ve never really experienced playing really well in practice and not being able to translate it to a match court before, it was always the opposite for me.

“I was never a great practice player, I didn’t use to win practice matches, exhibition matches, it’s been the complete opposite for me recently. I know there’s better tennis in me than I’m showing just now, but I’m hoping I can turn it around.”

Despite the recent drop in form, the world No.50 has hit back at critics who have suggested he should consider retiring, “When I was in my early 20’s, I would have mainly young fans that would come up to you and ask for autographs, now I get more older people, whose bodies are falling apart.

“They are kind of like ‘it’s great that you keep going it’s inspired me to get out and keep training’, so the demographic has changed a little bit.”

He added, “But it’s nice, I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to do what fans, journalists or anyone is telling me to do. Qualifying for all these tournaments on my right, on my ranking and all the matches that I’ve won, I want to keep playing just now, so I’m not going to stop.”

Murray will look to return to form at the Qatar Open in Doha next week, where he is defending runner-up points from last year, with the former two-time champion beginning his campaign against a qualifier.

Inside the baseline…

Andy Murray has never been one to hold back on his opinions, which has been clear in recent weeks with his defiance against those trying to end his career for him. Hopefully Murray can have a deep run in Doha to stop the run of defeats, which has been helped by a promising draw against a qualifier, but that is no guarantee.

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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.