Murray falls again as sin­gles come­back con­tin­ues

Global Times US Edition - - SPORTS -

Andy Murray on Mon­day fell in the first round of the ATP Win­ston-salem Open, where the three-time Grand Slam cham­pion was giv­ing his sur­gi­cally re­paired hip just its sec­ond test in sin­gles.

Bri­tain’s Murray, who feared in Jan­uary that his hip trou­ble would end his ca­reer, ac­cepted a wild card into this week’s tour­na­ment in North Carolina af­ter fall­ing in his sin­gles come­back in Cincin­nati last week.

He again showed glimpses of his once-dom­i­nant self, but was in­con­sis­tent in a 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 loss to 73rd-ranked Amer­i­can Ten­nys Sand­gren in a match last­ing two hours and 10 min­utes.

“Some things were a bit bet­ter to­day I think,” Murray said.

“I was hit­ting the ball a bit cleaner than I did maybe in Cincin­nati... I feel like I moved fairly well to some drop shots, which maybe last week I wasn’t run­ning to.

“So there’s some good things in there but also some stuff I would like to do bet­ter.”

Murray did not even reach the court un­til af­ter 10 pm, thanks to a lengthy rain de­lay that pushed back his start time by more than three hours.

Sand­gren gut­ted out a tough ser­vice hold in an open­ing game that went to deuce nine times, saving one break point as they went to the first-set de­cider with­out a break of serve.

The Amer­i­can needed four set points – and saved one – in tak­ing the tiebreaker.

A de­flated Murray was quickly down 3-0 with two breaks of serve in the sec­ond.

He clawed one back, and broke again when Sand­gren coughed up two dou­ble faults while serv­ing for the match at 5-4.

But Sand­gren broke Murray again in the next game and then took full ad­van­tage of his sec­ond chance, cap­ping the match with a fore­hand win­ner on his first match point.

“Phys­i­cally, [I’m] OK con­sid­er­ing – no pain, no dis­com­fort. Just a lit­tle bit more tired than usual,” Murray said.

Hav­ing said in Cincin­nati he would dis­con­tinue dou­bles to fo­cus on re­turn­ing to peak sin­gles form, Murray said he might con­sider play­ing an ATP Chal­lenger Tour event be­fore head­ing to Asia, where he is en­tered in Septem­ber’s Zhuhai Cham­pi­onships and the China Open.

“Maybe I need to play a level down to get some matches and build my game up a lit­tle bit be­fore I start play­ing on the tour again,” he said. “My ex­pec­ta­tions are pretty low. I’m not think­ing about win­ning events like this, I’m just try­ing to get matches. Hope­fully with each match I’ll feel bet­ter and gain con­fi­dence.” [email protected] glob­al­

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