Murray vows to bounce back

2014-07-02 20:26
Andy Murray (AFP)

London - Shell-shocked Andy Murray has admitted he needs to make significant improvements to his game after the Wimbledon champion's reign came to a stunning end against Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday.

Murray's 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 defeat at the hands of the inspired Bulgarian capped a dispiriting period for the world number five, who has failed to reach a single final since beating Novak Djokovic to become the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years.

Murray had made a strong start to his bid to become the first British man to defend the title since Fred Perry in 1936, advancing through the first four rounds without dropping a set.

But, with his run of five successive Wimbledon semi-finals and 17 consecutive wins at the All England Club snapped in the most frustrating fashion, the 27-year-old conceded it is time to take a closer look at his game in a bid to avoid a repeat.

"I've lost a couple of matches in the last few slams where I've lost in straight sets and played poorly," Murray said.

"That's happened a few times over the last year. It's disappointing and frustrating.

"So I need to have a think about things, what are the things I need to improve, and get myself in better shape and work even harder.

"Everyone's starting to get better. The younger guys are now obviously becoming more mature and improving all the time. I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game."

While Murray rightly claims nothing -- not even the tame end to his title defence -- should detract from his achievement 12 months ago, there can be no doubt he has struggled to deal with the fallout from conquering the All England Club.

He lost in the US and Australian Open quarter-finals then endured a difficult split with coach Ivan Lendl in March.

Murray was also thrashed by Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals last month.

While Murray conceded that a lack of motivation has sometimes been a problem since fulfilling his lifetime ambition of winning Wimbledon, he was adamant that wasn't an issue against Dimitrov.

"It's not necessarily about being flat. The fire was still there. My game was just not where I would have liked it to be," Murray said.

"I just didn't play well today and he played much better than me from the beginning to the end. That's not going to add up to a good day at the office.

"In terms of moving forward, I think when you stop enjoying practicing and training and travelling, then you have to have a think about what you actually want to do with yourself.

"Because you don't want to make yourself miserable when you're doing something that you've loved since you were a kid.

"There's been periods where I've struggled, but right now isn't one of them."

Asked if failing to mount a successful bid to regain the crown counted as the worst moment of his career, Murray disagreed and pin-pointed his tearful 2012 Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer as the all-time low.

"No. The toughest loss of my career was losing in the final here in 2012," he said.

"When I look back on my career, I'm always going to be proud of winning Wimbledon.

"Obviously it's disappointing for it to end like that. But I need to think forward and not backwards, and find motivation from somewhere to try to get back to the top of my game."

Since joining forces with new coach Amelie Mauresmo, Murray has surrendered both his Wimbledon and Queen's Club titles.

He plans talks with Mauresmo over their partnership and said: "We'll sit down and chat about that maybe tomorrow or in a few days. But it has to come from both sides.

"I've really enjoyed the last couple of weeks. I've found it good fun. I found it calming."

Wimbledon results on Wednesday, the ninth day of the 2014 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeded player):


Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Marin Cilic (CRO x26) 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x11) bt Andy Murray (GBR x3) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
Roger Federer (SUI x4) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x5) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN x8) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)


Eugenie Bouchard (CAN x13) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x9) 6-3, 6-4
Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Sabine Lisicki (GER x19) 6-4, 6-0


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Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 15. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 18. When all is said and done, who wins more?

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