Andy Murray set for big rankings fall after another horrible defeat

Andy Murray Australian Open 2024

Andy Murray’s miserable start to 2024 continued as he was beaten in the first round of the Open 13 Provence in Marseille by Tomas Machac from the Czech Republic.

Murray has endured a horrible start to the year after losing in the first round in Brisbane and then at the Australian Open.

His loss against French journeyman Benoit Paire in Montpellier last week was one of the worst of his professional career against an opponent who had not won a match since August 2022 before he overcame Murray.

That loss against Paire sparked a fresh debate over how long Murray would continue his career, yet he was quick to hit out at a BBC website article suggesting he was tarnishing his legacy by continuing to play when he is struggling to find a way to win matches.

Murray responded to a post on X, formerly Twitter, by saying: “Tarnishing my legacy? Do me a favour. I’m in a terrible moment right now I’ll give you that.

“Most people would quit and give up in my situation right now. But I’m not most people and my mind works differently.

“I won’t quit. I will keep fighting and working to produce the performances I know I’m capable of.”

This latest defeat against Machac will pose fresh questions for Murray and the prolonged wave he gave to the fans in Marseille as he left the court may have been significant.

There is no doubting Murray’s desire to finish his career on a high, but his first serve and misfiring forehand are simply not at a level that will allow him to thrive at the top end of the game.

He has suggested he will consider his future if his ranking begins to slide and that is now likely after his latest defeat.

He reached the final in Doha in mid-February last year and the 150 points he collected from that tournament will drop off his ranking soon, along with the 45 points he collected from winning two rounds at the Indian Wells Masters last March.

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Murray has now lost six straight matches on the ATP Tour and may well drop out of the top 50 of the ATP rankings next week.

If he continues to lose, he be down at around No 70 by the end of March and he would then have a decision to make over what comes next.

“If you’ve been a top player, and then your ranking drops, you’re not winning as many matches,” said Murray last month.

“So when you get in those situations, you probably don’t cope with them as well.

“Last year, I lost a number of matches I could have won. I know I’ve made improvements in the off-season. I was pushing a lot of guys even though I really didn’t feel good on the court.”

After losing at the US Open last September he stated: “I mean, it’s obviously disappointing to not play how you would like, you know?

“Maybe I need to accept that, these events, I had the deep runs and everything that I felt like I’m capable of, they might not be there, as well.

“So, you know, I’m aware what I’m doing, it’s unbelievably challenging to play at the highest level as I am now. And some days it’s harder than others.

“I still enjoy everything that goes into playing at a high level. I enjoy the work. The training and trying to improve and trying to get better, I do still enjoy that.

“And that’s what keeps me going. If things change and I stop enjoying that or my results, my ranking and everything, like, if I start to go backwards in that respect, you know, in a few months’ time I was ranked 60 in the world or whatever instead of moving up the way, things might change.”