Frustrated Andy Murray fails to convert early breaks in straight-sets loss to Alexander Zverev

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As Andy Murray left the court in Indian Wells, he swore at himself and hit his face in frustration at an opportunity missed against Alexander Zverev.

When the dust settles on a 6-4 7-6 defeat against the world No4, who has lost just one match in his last 20, a run which has included Olympic gold, he will be able to see the positives amid the frustration.

Murray is the fittest he has been since hip surgery and argues he is good enough to beat anyone on tour on his day. But in the third round in California, he simply wasn’t clinical enough in the key moments.

And in contrast, Zverev turned the screw when it mattered, peppering the baseline with his aggressive groundstrokes to good effect.

“I don’t think I played well today,” said Murray in the aftermath. “There’s lots of mistakes. There’s some good stuff in there but it was mixed in with bad. There was no sort of consistency I don’t think. My average level was just not really there today. It was either good or bad. I wouldn’t put that down as playing really well.”

And yet for large swathes of the match, there was evidence of the Murray of old. Always a great returner, his court position and speed of returns immediately rattled the Zverev serve, the most likely aspect of the German’s game to crumble.

It gave Murray an early break to go 3-0 up but he could not maintain the advantage as his opponent broke twice to deservedly take the set. A damning statistic in its aftermath was that Zverev had hit 12 forehand winners to Murray’s one.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Again, the former world No1 had an early break in set two as he intelligently used a plethora of different shots to dull the German’s aggression and break his stride. At times, it worked but not enough to force a deciding set.

“The consistency isn’t there,” added Murray. “The decision making is not great in the important moments still. They are moments that I was always very strong in and I haven’t been this year. So, disappointed with that.

“The positive for me to take from it is I obviously had opportunities again. I didn’t feel like I played a great match and still had chances so that’s positive. But I’m disappointed because I obviously want to be winning these matches. I haven’t in the past few months.”

Read More

Andy Murray recovers from a set down to defeat ‘future world No1’ Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells

Andy Murray finds wedding ring and best form to reach second round at Indian Wells

Alexander Zverev denies any wrongdoing as ATP open investigation into domestic abuse allegations

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting