Andy Murray should be leaving California with his head held high after another good week of progression shown in his quest to compete with the best in tennis.
The Brit has been playing pretty regular since Wimbledon during this American hard court season as well as a brief visit to France and despite a search still underway for that ‘big win’ I am confident in the progression we have seen.
During this time of late Murray has lost a few matches against high ranked players losing a close first set either 5-7 or 6-7 and then slipping away in the second and going out in two.
Match by match there has been progress. At Indian Wells in-particular I have seen more emphasis behind his forehand early on in matches and the movement which really caused problems for Mannarino, Alcaraz and Zverev.
Some of the tennis he has put in the last few months and weeks has been exceptional, this is a guy with a resurfaced hip who didn’t play for a couple of years and he is making life uncomfortable for players.
After his exit the Brit said:
“This is physically the best I’ve felt in a while, but I’m sort of battling my game a little bit. The consistency isn’t there and the decision making is not great in the important moments”
I think it is a fair assessment, a bit of decision making in some points needs to be a bit more risky and brutal. We know Murray is his own worse critic and wasn’t entertaining the thought that he played well:
I get what Murray is saying and he holds himself to high standards, I don’t know many players who analyse their own game soo well and it’s a big factor to his success over the years, he can just come off court and analyse moments better than anyone.
What next for Murray?
Andy does have a wildcard for Antwerp where he was champion in 2019 shortly after his return to the tour.
After that it could be curtains on his 2021 season. Murray has raised doubts over his participation in the Davis Cup saying he’s doesn’t think he deserves to be there with the form of Dan Evans, Cam Norrie & Liam Broady.
Part of it also comes down to his preparations and departure for Australia with the former Australian Open finalist outlining his plans to return Down Under but before he wants to let his body breathe.