Murray’s bitter-sweet luck of the draw
Originally published on: 20/04/12 00:00
Anyone playing Andy Murray in the near future might be forgiven for being a little tentative around the court given the frequency in which the Scot’s opponents have been forced to pull out of late.
Julien Benneteau became the fourth player in Murray’s last five tournaments to suffer the fate yesterday, breaking a bone in his elbow in a nasty fall that allowed the Scot safe passage through to the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo.
Murray couldn’t account for the run of fortune that has seen him bypass Milos Raonic and Rafael Nadal without taking to court in Miami, and progress in Melbourne and Monte Carlo thanks to mid-match pull-outs from Mikhail Kukushkin and Benneteau respectively. But after his latest free ticket, the world No.4 suggested that there has been a problem with the surface in Monte Carlo.
"In parts it's not flat," said Murray of the idyllic centre court, which is maintained by the same ground staff that prepare Roland Garros. “Normally the courts here are fantastic. They said they had a few problems with it during the Davis Cup [tie between France and the USA] but they changed it. Clay courts usually take a while if you make changes to them, before they've settled. That's probably why there were a few bad bounces and guys are struggling with their movement a little bit."
Benneteau’s injury came after Juan Monaco had experienced a near identical fall in the same corner of the court in his opening match. Murray’s luck, however, ran out in the doubles as he and brother Jamie lost to Bob and Mike Bryan 7-5 6-4.
"Today, even though the singles went well, I'm very disappointed we lost the doubles,” added Murray. "We played pretty good, had a lot of chances. We played well in the first round, too. It's nice to play with [Jamie], and it feels great when you win. Also, when you lose, it's tough, as well."