Murray, the highly talented Scott has not been having the best clay court season so far, and lost yet another match on clay to Borna Coric at the Madrid Open. With the added pressure to find clay court form prior to the French Open, his early exit to Borna Coric, who is no clay court slouch by the way, was a complete downer for Sir Murray’s camp.
Andy lost 6-3, 6-3 to in a match replete with unforced errors by him. He had 28 unforced errors to 14 winners, and he expressed his concern about this loss while not admitting to any lack of confidence as such. “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 which can be concerning or disappointing.” Murray said.
This loss is in addition to the ones in the last 16 of the Monte Carlo Masters and the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open. Therefore, Andy is yet to find his feet and rhythm on clay and has just Rome left to discover both, and a lot more, if he is to make a run at the French Open this year.
Coric came into the main draw as lucky loser and replacement for Gasquet, but Andy apparently has never had it easy against Coric, who is not only 59 rankings points below him but is also about 9 years his junior. They have split equally the 4 meetings that they have had so far.
The big question here is that if it isn’t lack of confidence then what is it that is not letting Murray display the winning form that he showed last year? Our best guess is that it is the weight of tremendous pressure that he bears to defend points week after week to stay number one; and that pressure gets to the best of them. It’s not easy to have your guards up 24×7 all year round. However, the moment one blinks it all falls apart, and it happened to Djokovic last year.
However, that’s the nature of this or any other competitive individual sport and Murray just has to deal with it and pick himself up to get ready for the French Open. Getting Lendl more involved may be the solution here but Murray can always start with enjoying the process again.