Murray gears up for Miami title defence


Originally published on 18/03/14

The Scot, who has dropped to No.6 in the world rankings after missing the end of last season following back surgery, could slip further down the rankings with 1000 points to defend at Crandon Park.

Murray has a bye in the first round, and will face either Matthew Ebden or Lukasz Kubot in the second with either Feliciano Lopez or Jiri Vesely his third-round opponent; Murray needed three sets to get past the Czech in Indian Wells.

With Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a potential fourth round opponent, Murray is in the same quarter of the draw as Novak Djokovic, with Roger Federer or David Ferrer a likely semi-final opponent.

Murray, who has a home in Miami and trains at Key Biscayne, was at a loss to explain his defeat to Milos Raonic in Indian Wells. The Wimbledon champion saw a first-set lead slip from his grasp as the Canadian claimed a 4-6 7-5 6-3 victory.

While he believes he is back to full fitness after returning to action in January, Murray admits he is making poor decisions in key situations during matches, which may come down to lack of confidence. 

“It shouldn't really be anything down to not playing enough matches,” Murray said.  “I feel like I've played enough. Right now I'm not pulling up after matches like that stiff or sore or anything like that.  So I think I'm match fit, match tight.  Maybe I'm making some bad decisions in those situations. Š—åBut I'll need to have a think about it and have a look at what happened. 

“But the next few days I have to think about a few things, and hopefully play well in Miami, which I have done quite a few times in the past.”

Should Murray navigate his way through a high-quality draw and reach the final in Miami, he could meet top seed Rafael Nadal, who will be bidding to add the elusive Miami crown to his record 26 ATP Masters 1000 titles. The Spaniard faces either Robin Haase or Lleyton Hewitt in the second round, and could play Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat him in the Australian Open final, or Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals.