Andy Murray reconsidering playing clay season after ‘demoralising’ defeat
Andy Murray has admitted he is reconsidering his participation in the clay season after a ‘demoralising’ first round defeat to Alex De Minaur in Monte-Carlo.
Murray sank to an incredibly poor 6-1, 6-3 defeat to the Australian in his first match at the tournament for six years.
De Minaur needed just 35 minutes to win the first set and, although Murray improved slightly after that, he was very well beaten on the day.
“I’m pretty disappointed with it, to be honest, because I practised well last week,” Murray said after the match.
“Obviously, I didn’t have high expectations going into the first tournament [of the clay-court swing], but certainly when you put a certain level of work in and that’s the performance that comes at the end of it, it’s pretty demoralising.
“I have to have a long think about things with my team and what I do from here.”
“With the way the rules are now, I can’t go and play [Challenger events] during Madrid and Rome,” said Murray. “So it’s just whether I play the clay-court season or whether I miss it.”
Murray has had a lot of ups and downs this season so far. He produced two thrilling wins at the Australian Open against Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis and then reached the final of Doha the following month.
He also looked good at Indian Wells before a poor defeat to Dusan Lajovic in Miami. It has certainly left him with a lot to ponder.
“In the build-up to Doha I was working consistently on the things I’d been doing in the off-season, really building on Australia, and it was feeling good,” Murray said. “But obviously since I finished in Indian Wells, things have gone downhill with two bad performances.
Andy Murray x CLAY 🧡 #clayray pic.twitter.com/PGl03HZN8L
— Rush 🐠 (@drivevolleys) April 6, 2023
“Obviously you can lose matches. I could have lost some of the matches I won earlier this year. But it’s more the nature of how they were and how I felt on the court that is not fun.”
“It was awful. Nothing was good about it. I don’t know exactly why that was. Obviously I didn’t play a great match in Miami. And this was worse than that.
“I didn’t do anything well, didn’t serve well, return well, forehands, backhands, shot selection. It was one of the worst I’ve played in my career, probably.
“I had a match like that last year in Doha against (Roberto) Bautista (Agut) that was pretty bad and maybe one or two others in my career, but in terms of how I felt on the court, it was right up there, just across the board.”
“I was feeling optimistic coming into the clay. I’d been feeling good with my body the last 10 days or so considering I’ve not played much on it.
“I was feeling good and I’d actually been moving pretty well in practice, so I was optimistic. But it was pretty demoralising and I’ve not felt like that many times in my career on the court. It was really tough.”
Andy Murray clay record
British players have traditionally struggled on clay courts and Murray is no exception to that, although is version of ‘struggle’ is obviously a lot more elite than most.
Of his 46 career singles titles, only three have come on clay. Two of those have been Masters, though, with him winning in Madrid (2015) and Rome (2016). It should be mentioned too, though, that given the altitude at Madrid, the court plays much more like a hardcourt than a clay surface.
The other clay title that Murray has won was an ATP 250 in Munich.
He has also been a French Open finalist but lost out in 2016 to Novak Djokovic. In fairness, though, who knows what could have happened in his career at Roland Garros had he not played in the same era as Rafael Nadal.
Murray win-percentage on clay
While Andy Murray has fewer titles on clay than he has on any other surface, he has also posted his worst win-percentage on the red dirt as well.
Grass is his best surface, with the Scotsman winning 81.8% of his 143 matches. His 75.3% win rate (652 matches) on hard courts is also impressive and mirrors almost precisely his career win-percentage.
Clay has been a bit of a struggle, though. He has played 155 matches on clay and won just 107 of them – a win percentage of just 69%.
Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB
Social >> Facebook, Twitter & YouTube
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine
Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner