Murray misery continues in Miami
Andy Murray suffered a shock 6-1 7-5 loss to American qualifier Alex Bogomolov in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday, continuing his miserable start to the United States hardcourt season.
British world number five Murray, who was ousted by little-known American qualifier Donald Young in the second round at Indian Wells earlier this month, looked badly out of sorts at Key Biscayne.
The Scotsman, who had a bye in the first round, won just 33 percent of second serve points against his 27-year-old opponent.
Moscow-born Bogomolov is ranked 118th in the world but had little trouble against Murray's serve which, at times, was as slow as 153 kph (95 mph).
The fifth-seeded Brit looked short of energy, confidence and touch against an opponent he would normally expect to brush aside with ease.
"There was no consistency on any part of my game, really," a despondent Murray said afterwards.
"It was just everything really. I didn't play particularly well. He hardly missed at all in the first set, made it very difficult for me. Then I was trying to find a way in the second set, and I just couldn't get anything going at all.
"I was trying to get myself back into the match, trying to find ways, trying to run balls down, but I just didn't have that spark."
While the local crowd celebrated the success of Miami resident Bogomolov, who used to be Anna Kournikova's hitting partner, Murray reflected on a poor run of form since his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open.
Since that loss in January, Murray has not won a set in the three tournaments he has played.
"When you're not playing that well and you're struggling a little bit, you start to miss balls by a few inches, then it is net cords or whatever, challenges and stuff, they seem to go against you more," the Scotsman said.
"In practice I have been competing well, especially this week, chasing everything down, playing a lot of good points and feeling good. Then in the matches I haven't been able to get it going at all.
"Competing is something that I have been able to do well the last few years. It's not that (competing). It's my game. My game was poor."
Murray, who was beaten by Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 6-1 in Rotterdam last month in his first tournament since the Australian Open, rued his inability to move Bogomolov wide.
"If you look at the amount of mistakes I made compared with normal and where I was actually hitting the ball...pretty much right in the middle of the court, you can't win playing like that," he said.
"You can't win playing the ball in the middle of the court and making 30, 40, unforced errors in a two set match."