Murray Takes Stock After Queen’s Club Exit: ‘I Need To Improve My Tennis’
Five-time former champion Andy Murray came up short against a rock-solid Matteo Berrettini at the cinch Championships in London, his first tour-level singles event since March. But the Brit was determined to keep improving his game and working on his fitness as he continues to navigate his comeback.
After falling in straight sets to the top-seeded Italian, Murray highlighted his lack of match play and Berrettini’s booming serves as the key factors for his second-round defeat. Murray created three break chances across two sets against the top seed, but wasn’t able to convert on his opportunities.
“I played two sets in preparation for this event,” he said. “It's not very much when you haven't played matches since March. I do feel like I genuinely have been hitting the ball well in practice.
“But then like today, when you're under a bit more pressure and stuff and having to make very split-second decisions when you're on the court, if the guy is serving 140 miles an hour it's difficult to prepare for that.”
Murray, who is managing a groin 'niggle' as he works his way back to full fitness following hip surgeries, revealed that he has been pleased with his movement around the court. He was covering the court comfortably in his 6-3, 6-2 victory in the opening round against Benoit Paire, but admitted that he struggled on Thursday against Berrettini’s firepower.
“I actually felt my movement was quite good for both of the matches,” he said. “And all of the numbers and [analytics] from the first match we got, in terms of the speeds I was moving at on the court, we were happy with that as a team.
“My tennis today was not very good. That's the thing that I'll need to improve the most rather than, I think, the actual movement around the court.”
A win for Murray would have put him through to his first quarter-final of 2021, after reaching the final at the ATP Challenger Tour level in Biella at the start of the season. It would have also extended a streak of historic success for British players this week in London, and marked the first time since 1975 Istanbul that four Brits reached the quarter-finals at a tour-level event.
But despite his defeat, Murray’s countrymen look well poised to carry on the mantle in his absence. Daniel Evans joined Cameron Norrie and 19-year-old Jack Draper in the last eight, marking the first time in the Open Era that Queen’s Club has had three or more British quarter-finalists.
Murray had plenty of words of praise for each of his countrymen, taking a moment during his post-match press conference to assess their steady rise up the FedEx ATP Rankings.
“With the other guys, I mean, Dan's obviously been doing exceptionally well for quite a long period now,” Murray said. “[He] did very well last year as well, and the year before and has a game that suits the grass.”
“Cam has had a fantastic year so far. He's getting better all of the time,” he continued. “I have practised with him quite a lot and spent a bit of time with him over the past few years, and he works exceptionally hard. He's a very, very fit guy. Has a really good attitude. I'm happy for him, how well he's doing.
“Jack's one of probably the best young players in the country, and again, I have spent quite a lot of time practising with him and training with him. He's got a big game, [a] big lefty serve. He moves well for his height. He's going to do really well.”
Murray, whose tour-level win-loss record fell to 2-3 on the season, will now have his sights set on the year’s third Grand Slam at Wimbledon. Currently ranked No. 124, the former two-time champion has received a wild card into The Championships this year.