Andy Murray news: Alarm bells ringing as he explains Indian Wells exit

Andy Murray

The alarm bells must be ringing for Andy Murray as he exited the BNP Paribas Open at the second-round stage after losing in straight sets to Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.

The former British number one was beaten 7-6 (9) 6-3 in just over two hours in Indian Wells as he again missed golden opportunities to take the first set and then faded as Bublik’s power overwhelmed him.

The three-time grand slam winner, who won his 700th career match in the first round at Indian Wells, had three set-points as a tight first set went to a tie-break but was unable to convert and world number 33 Bublik edged ahead.

The Scot then spurned two break points in the opening game of the second set before being broken himself in the fourth game.

He dug deep to save three break points in the sixth game, but could not force his way back into the match and Bublik closed out victory.

“Both of us had some chances in the tie-break, but in the first set I certainly created more of the opportunities and I didn’t take them,” said Murray

“He obviously came up with some good serves at times, but I certainly had my chances and against players that play that style of tennis and have obviously big serves and are not easy to break, you need to be ruthless when you get your chances and I just didn’t quite play well enough in those moments today.”

Many have questioned why Murray is continuing in the game as his ongoing struggles continue, with his pattern of winning first round matches and losing in his next encounter not what this three-time Grand Slam champion wants to experience at this stage of his career.

He has stated on numerous occasions over the last few months that he won’t continue to tour the tennis world if he is not competing at the back end of tournaments, but the narrative is not changing.

While he should have won the first set tie-break against Bublik and produces moments of brilliance and phases of play that are flashbacks to his glory days at the top, the end results are not coming for Murray.

He will now have a training block with re-hired coach Ivan Lendl in Miami before competing at the Miami Open, with progress in that event now crucial to give Murray momentum heading into the middle part of this season.

After confirming he will not play on clay this year, Murray is preparing for a break away from the game ahead of what may be his final hurrah on the English grass courts that have given him so many glorious moments down the years.

Unless something changes in this story soon, this summer’s Wimbledon may well be a venue where Murray could be waving an emotional and final farewell to the game.