Andy Murray bows out of Indian Wells in style against Alexander Zverev
Andy Murray went down despite a valiant effort against German third seed Alexander Zverev at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells; The Scot said: "This is physically the best I've felt for a while but, I'm sort of battling my game a little bit. The consistency isn't there"
Last Updated: 13/10/21 8:00am
Andy Murray pushed Alexander Zverev every step of the way but was ultimately unable to overcome the German third seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, falling 6-4 7-6 (4).
Zverev notched his first career win against the former world No 1 that moved him into the fourth round. The Scot, who had got the better of the German in their two previous meetings, blamed a lack of consistency for his defeat.
Murray said: "No I didn't play well. I'm not saying he played well either, I don't think I played well today. There's a lot of mistakes.
"There was some good stuff in there but it was mixed in with bad, there was no sort of consistency. I don't think my average level was just not really there today, it was either good or bad.
"This is physically the best I've felt for a while but, I'm sort of battling my game a little bit. The consistency isn't there. The decision-making is not great in the important moments still."
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Murray began the third-round clash in fine form, racing away to an early break before Zverev was able to settle into his rhythm and narrowly take the first set.
The second set began in similar fashion, with Murray again going up a break before allowing Zverev back into the match.
Murray made the most of some uncharacteristic mistakes from Zverev to force a tie-break, but the 2020 US Open finalist was able to win the crucial points down the stretch to make it through to a meeting against Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round.
Zverev paid tribute to Murray's performance in his on-court interview after the match.
"He's the only one of the Big Four that I hadn't beaten yet, so I'm happy that I've done it today," he said.
"I always stayed in the match, even though I was down a break in both sets. I always knew I had a chance. Especially the second set I think was an extremely high level from both of us. It could have gone both ways.
"Obviously it was a fantastic match. I thought Andy played extremely well, maybe as well as he's played since the (hip) surgery. I hope he continues playing the same way, because tennis did miss him for a long time and I think it's good to have him back."
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Continually amazed at what Andy is achieving with his metal hip & his drive to keep competing. Very near to a huge win & looks as though he is moving better each match he plays.— Jo Durie (@Jodurie) October 13, 2021
Murray, who received a wild card into the event as he continues his comeback from hip replacement surgery, added he will continue to play at the highest level so long as he stays fit and healthy.
"No one can guarantee me that my hip will be fine for the next five or six years, but that's the risk I'm willing to take," he said.
"I'm out here playing against top four, five players in the world and not playing my best tennis, with a metal hip and competing with them well.
"I find that quite funny, but I'll keep doing it whilst the hip allows I guess."
Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was pushed all the way by Italy's Fabio Fognini but held on for a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win, while American Taylor Fritz pulled off the upset of the day, cruising past Italian fifth seed Matteo Berrettini in straight sets 6-4 6-3.