Andy Murray suggests he will make major change in bid to end nightmare losing streak
Andy Murray revealed he is considering dropping down to play on the ATP Challenger Tour after his nightmare form continued with a first round defeat in Marseille.
The three-time major champion asserted that “no number of defeats will change” what he achieved in his prime and reiterated he is continuing to play because of his love for tennis.
Murray fell to a 5-7, 4-6 loss to world No 66 Tomas Machac in the opening round of the ATP 250 tournament in Marseille on Tuesday to take his record in 2024 to 0-4. The world No 49 has lost his last six competitive matches and nine of his last 10 going back to September during a brutal run of form.
The 36-year-old had far more joy early in 2023, when he reached the third round of the Australian Open, the final of the Qatar Open in Doha and the third round of the Indian Wells Masters.
Murray did, though, compete on the Challenger Tour last year following a run of four straight losses on the ATP Tour in March and April. The Brit triumphed at the Aix En Provence clay-court Challenger tournament in May, where he defeated current world No 15 Tommy Paul in the final.
The former world No 1 also won back-to-back grass court Challenger titles on British soil in Surbiton and Nottingham in June ahead of Wimbledon.
Following his defeat to the talented 23-year-old Czech, Machac, in Marseille, Murray illustrated how performing well in practice does not guarantee success on the match court.
“The only way to find solutions [is] to win matches. It can also be played out in training, working on your game and sensations. But what happens in training doesn’t always translate into a match,” he said in a press conference.
“In 2016, when I finished world No 1, my coach told me that I had maybe won two or three training sets during the whole year. This year, I won almost all of them and I can’t win a single match. You have to perform in competition, that’s the only thing that counts.”
The two-time Olympic champion also suggested he will play some Challenger events as he did last year as he looks to rebuild his confidence.
“Maybe I will have to play in Challengers. The easiest thing for me would have been to leave my career. But I continue because I love the game, I love to train,” Murray continued.
“At the moment, without a doubt, it is not easy to compete. But what is happening now does not affect my career. No number of defeats will change what I achieved when I was in shape and with two hips. But when you can’t win, you also lose confidence. I’ve never experienced that in my career.
“In Beijing and [Paris] Bercy last year, I lost two matches against [Alex] de Minaur while serving for the match, with match points. This happened over the last three months.
“It only happens very rarely to lose in these conditions. But he is top 10 and I lost narrowly, like against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas or [Tommy] Paul. I can be competitive.”
Murray has entered the ATP 250 tournament in Doha, which will run from February 19-24, but it is unclear whether he will compete given these comments.
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