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Andy Murray struggled to find answers against Borna Coric in Madrid.

Murray: "I Need To Be Concerned"

World No. 1 unhappy with early exit in Madrid

Andy Murray has been forgiving of himself this clay-court season as he returns from a right elbow injury, but didn’t hold back about his third-round performance against Borna Coric on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open.

The World No. 1 hit 28 unforced errors in two sets and allowed the #NextGenATP Croatian to dominate the match. Having won Madrid in 2015 and finishing runner-up last year, the Brit knows his current form is below the level required to produce big runs at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level events.

“I definitely think I need to be concerned about today. It's not always the worst thing losing a match, but it's sometimes the manner of how you lose the match that can be concerning or disappointing,” said Murray. “I was disappointed to lose my match against Thiem in Barcelona, but felt like I competed really well and did some good stuff in the match. Today, I didn't really do any of that. That's concerning. So I need to think about exactly why that is, what I can do about it.

“Most things weren't working particularly well. When I started to go behind, I didn't find any way to improve my game or to make it more difficult for him. I just let the same things keep happening, making mistakes very early in a lot of the rallies. I wasn't building any points,” he added. “That was disappointing because you're not always going to play your best tennis, but you can still find ways to make it difficult for your opponent. I didn't do that at all today.”

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Murray has expressed frustration about his serve over the past month. The shot that played an essential role in his dominance throughout the second half of 2016 has admittedly let him down this spring. But while his practice court time was limited while recovering from the elbow injury, he believes his game should have progressed further by now.

“I think it was normal in Barcelona and Monte-Carlo that I wasn't going to serve as well as I would normally because I was still getting better. But I was able to practise everything else. I was able to do everything physically. That's no reason for how I played today and the past few weeks,” said Murray. “However, when you do miss a period of time, the most important thing is to play. I didn't for a month. That set me back a little bit.”

Murray is well aware he has piles of Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend for the rest of the year. In the next month, he defends points from winning Madrid and finishing runner-up at Roland Garros last year. Although he admitted he won’t be able to match those high standards unless his game improves, the World No. 1 is optimistic his game can quickly round into form. 

“Borna lost in the qualifying here a few days ago. Now he's in the quarters playing very good tennis. Things can change fast,” said Murray. “But you need to have the correct ideas and understand why you're in the position you're in. Hopefully I can do that with my team, and play better in Rome and Roland Garros.”

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