On his Instagram page the Brit reflected on his quarter final run in Metz as “another disappointing week” as he searches for some of his best tennis. Seeing that was actually quite sad and a realism of the pressure and expectation he puts on himself.
His run in Metz was his first quarter final on the ATP Tour since his win in Antwerp in 2019 and from a fans perspective there was a lot of positives even in his defeat to the top seed Hubert Hurkacz.
Murray’s week consistent of a three set comeback vs sixth seed Ugo Humbert, straight sets win over Vasek Pospisil and a 6-7 3-6 defeat to the Pole.
During the last few matches the Brit has played he has played himself into matches well, finding the forehand seems to be the shot that is coming with time in matches but there is just an obstacle against some top players this year especially in the first set.
Marseille – 6-7 1-6 (Gerasimov)
Rotterdam – 5-7 2-6 (Rublev)
Cincinnati – 6-7 3-6 (Hurkacz)
Winston-Salem – 6-7 3-6 (Tiafoe)
Metz – 6-7 3-6 (Hurkacz)
A lot of the time it has been a case of finding his feet and fine margins. Five times to lose an opening set either 5-7 or 6-7 this year and to lose in two sets is a bit of a theme. There is that frustration in the second set and Murray has been caught going down a break early but I think it is coming.
After his win against Pospisil he spoken quite positively about how he is feeling:
“I’ve been playing for me anyway the last few years this period has been the most tournaments I’ve played and my body feels good. I’m starting to gain a little bit of confidence with each match and starting to see the points and how I want to play them again which is great. There have been times in the last year where I’ve been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing and stuff which for me was always a strong part of my game and made me feel quite uncomfortable on the court when I was feeling that way. I’m starting to get that (confidence) back, the results are coming and my tennis is getting better.”
Murray now moves from Metz to San Diego now and as the tennis gods would have it his first round opponent will be Kei Nishikori.
It will be their 12th meeting, the last being in 2017 at Roland Garros and their first a decade ago in Shanghai with Murray leading the head to head at 9-2. The winner faces another tough battle in Casper Ruud who has been on Laver Cup duty.