Andy Murray confident he will be a better player in 2022 after end to season

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Andy Murray is confident he will return a better player in 2022 after his season drew to a close with defeat at the Stockholm Open.

Murray could not back up his victory over tournament No1 seed Jannik Sinner in the preceding round as he lost out 6-2 3-6 6-3 to world No52 Tommy Paul.

And yet there were still positives from a match in which Murray had levelled at a set apiece before a double fault gave Paul the advantage to go 4-3 clear in the decider and, from there, wrap up the match.

Looking ahead to next season, Murray said: “My game will improve, I think, over the off season – I’m pretty clear on the things that I need to work on. I need to make sure we get a good plan in place that come the beginning of January those improvements have been made.”

The signs look promising. There have been wins over players ranked in the world’s top 10 and he has been able to play back-to-back tournaments without his body letting him down.

In Stockholm, he had Johanna Konta’s former coach in Esteban Carril in his corner and it remains to be seen if he becomes a long-term addition over the winter.

The former world No1 is likely to have his traditional training base in Miami towards the end of the year as he gears up for 2022.

Of a match in which he was often playing second fiddle – Paul running him wide to tire him after a marathon match against Sinner – Murray said: “I didn’t hit the ball particularly well so I was on the back foot in most of the rallies.

“I was just battling, timing was off from the back of the court a little bit but that’s the first time since February where I played three consecutive days.”

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