Andy Murray explains why he is still playing after miserable Madrid defeat
Andy Murray’s attempts to return to the top of the game appear to be doomed to fail, yet the three-time Grand Slam champion admits he still believes he has a moment of glory left in him.
That may explain why the two-time Wimbledon champion continues to play in the game’s biggest events, even though he is a long way short of the standards required to compete for the biggest titles in tennis.
Murray insists he still believes he can win another Wimbledon title despite his losing run continuing with defeat by Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori in the opening round of the Madrid Open.
The frustrated Scot’s 6-2 7-6 (7) loss to a player ranked 164 made it four consecutive defeats, equalling the worst run of his professional career.
Murray was so disillusioned by his performance against Alex De Minaur in Monte Carlo two weeks ago that he indicated he might sit out the rest of the clay season.
He decided against that but this was another demoralising result, with the only positive being how Murray found a way into the match in the second set.
He told reporters in the Spanish capital: “It wasn’t great. I started to play a bit better towards the end but the start was slow. He played very well at the beginning, and he’s serving huge. Some of the errors are hard to explain.”
Murray lost the first four games and went an early break down in the second set against 27-year-old qualifier Vavassori, who is at his highest career ranking.
The Italian was certainly playing well but Murray was making too many unforced errors and was unable to make any headway on his opponent’s serve.
He changed that in the eighth game, breaking Vavassori for the first time, and he took advantage of nerves from his opponent to save four match points in the tie-break only to twice net straightforward volleys.
The one he missed from on top of the net at 6-6 defied belief, and Murray said: “Obviously everyone misses bad shots throughout their career, but I don’t have too many like that.”
It is the first time since 2019, when his hip problems were at their worst, that Murray has lost four matches in a row and, having reached the third round in the Spanish capital last year, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champion is set to drop back out of the top 60.
Given one of the main objectives for the 35-year-old playing on clay was to improve his ranking in a bid to be seeded for Wimbledon, things are clearly not going the way he would have hoped.
Murray is still intending to play at the French Open, adding: “Whilst I feel fit and healthy, I would like to give it a go.
“But I also have ambitions of competing for Wimbledon titles and that sort of stuff and, I know that sitting here today that probably doesn’t sound realistic, but I do believe that that’s a possibility.”
Murray’s claim that he can still be a contender at Wimbledon in July will raise plenty of eyebrows, as he has struggled to reach the latter stages of events since his run to the final of a grass court event in Stuttgart last summer.
After so many injury problems, it seems like reality will need to hit Andy Murray soon that his tennis story is coming to an end and that moment may come at Wimbledon in July.
WATCH: Dominant Dominic Thiem crushes Kyle Edmund in first round of the Madrid Open
Daniil Medvedev in line to complete incredibly unique milestone
Daniil Medvedev is just one match win away from winning a 21st ATP Tour title in a 21st different city.
Coco Gauff labels latest triumph ‘a mental victory’ after coming back from the brink
Coco Gauff pulls out incredible fighting win in China.
Carlos Alcaraz confesses to tactical errors in stunning loss to Jannik Sinner
Carlos Alcaraz has admitted to slipping up against Jannik Sinner.
Elena Rybakina claims ‘many players are not happy’ about performance bye rules
Elena Rybakina has reiterated her complaints about the performance bye system.
Jannik Sinner exposes Carlos Alcaraz’s big weakness with a stunning win in China
Sinner moved one clear in his head-to-head clashes with Wimbledon champion Alcaraz as he notched up a 7-6(4) 6-1 win in Beijing.
Coco Gauff breaks through another prize money barrier with latest win in China
Coco Gauff is second on the prize money list in the women’s game in 2023.
WATCH: Agonising default in Shanghai as ball smashes into umpire at high speed
Polmans his out-of-control swipe had desperate consequences as he smashed the ball at the chair umpire and was given an instant default.
Australian Open chiefs announce huge schedule change for first Grand Slam of 2024
The new Sunday start will see an increase in the number of sessions across the three arenas from 47 to 52.
Will Novak Djokovic play until 2028 if his Olympic dream is shattered in Paris?
Will Novak Djokovic play at the 2028 Olympics?
Why did Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy break up with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki?
Rory McIlroy broke up with Caroline Wozniacki just as they started making wedding plans in 2014.