Andy Murray defeats Oscar Otte in five sets at Wimbledon
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Andy Murray has talked up his current level, admitting he plays like someone in the world’s top 50, despite being ranked world No 114. The Brit, who underwent a hip resurfacing surgery in 2019 and has been side-lined with multiple injury niggles this year, now says his match losses are nothing to do with his body. His comments come after a second-round loss to Frances Tiafoe in Winston-Salem, with the US Open now looming.
Murray faced the world No 51 at the Winston-Salem Open on Tuesday (August 24), with both men starting strong.
The former world No 1 was the first to strike during their second-round clash, holding three set points on Tiafoe’s serve at 5-4 in the first set.
He was unable to capitalise and fell in a tiebreak, before the American was able to run away with the match and seal a 7-6(4) 6-3 victory.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray has taken the positives from his clash with Tiafoe, but admitted he was making too many mistakes.
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The Brit felt his level was closer to that of someone with a ranking like Tiafoe’s but criticised his ability to maintain that level throughout matches.
“The positive thing is that I moved well and served well but my level is up and down with no real consistency,” Murray said after suffering defeat at the ATP 250 event.
“There are moments in matches where I play well and then I make mistakes or miss returns. I wish I wasn’t doing that.”
Although he felt inconsistent on the match court, the world No 114 admitted he was playing like someone ranked a lot higher, adding: “My level is around 50 or 60 in the world.”
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He continued: “It’s frustrating because if wasn’t moving great and not feeling good physically then I would be a bit easier on myself. But when I’m winning a low percentage of second-serve points, that’s got nothing to do with the physical side of things.”
Murray hit ten aces and won 74% of points on his first serve, but it was a flurry of loose errors and his second serve performance that cost him the match, winning just 47% of points on his second serve and 35% on second serve return.
The 34-year-old now heads to the US Open after a relatively positive North American hard court swing that saw him get a couple of match wins under his belt and push some of the top young players.
As well as a close first set against the American, Murray pushed recent Wimbledon semi-finalist and Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz in Cincinnati, before the Pole won with the exact score line seen in the Tiafoe clash, 7-6(4) 6-3.
The 46-time title winner beat fellow tour veteran Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4 in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters 1000, and also secured a 6-2 6-0 victory over lucky loser Noah Rubin in his Winston-Salem opener.
He had been set to face Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster first round at the ATP 250 event but the Aussie pulled out with injury shortly before the match, with world No 306 Rubin stepping in at the last minute, just half an hour after losing a two hour, three-set battle in the final round of qualifying.
Murray will be looking to win a few matches in a row at the US Open, where he made it to the main draw on his direct ranking following the withdrawal of fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.
The Brit impressed at his home Slam of Wimbledon last month, beating 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili and Oscar Otte in four and five sets respectively, before losing to top ten player Denis Shapovalov, who went on to make the semi-finals.
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