Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring
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Andy Murray has sworn he will improve during the offseason to return to top-level tennis after crashing out of the Stockholm Open and ending his season. The Brit lost to American Tommy Paul 6-2 3-6 6-3 after defeating top seed Jannik Sinner on Wednesday.
Paul, ranked 52nd in the world, will face compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the semi-finals, with the American defeating British number two Dan Evans 1-6 6-1 6-1 on Thursday.
Hopes of an all-British semi-final were extinguished when Evans fell before Murray’s loss, and the two have very different plans for the upcoming offseason.
Evans is set to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup Finals while Murray admitted he needs to rest his body before the 2022 season.
The 34-year-old has been working with Johanna Konta’s former coach Esteban Carril in Stockholm, and the Spaniard is set to join his coaching team next season.
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“My game will improve, I think, over the offseason – I’m pretty clear on the things that I need to work on,” said Murray
“I need to make sure we get a good plan in place that come the beginning of January those improvements have been made.”
After the three-time Grand Slam champion defeated Italian world number 10 Sinner, Murray insisted he could compete with the best in the world.
Murray played some of his best tennis since recovering from injury but overcoming his inconsistency must be a target after slipping to Paul.
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“I didn’t hit the ball particularly well so I was on the back foot in most of the rallies,” said Murray.
“I was just battling, timing was off from the back of the court a little bit, but that’s the first time since February where I played three consecutive days.”
A defiant Murray declared deep runs at ATP tournaments were ‘coming’ – but he came up short against an aggressive Paul in the opening set.
The Scot brilliantly recovered to reach the third set, and neither player earned a break point until Murray hit the net and struck an ill-timed double fault to gift Paul the opportunity to serve for the win.
Murray claimed he was disturbed by movement in the crowd before the double fault, and highlighted his frustrations to the umpire before ultimately failing to prevent Paul securing victory.
The Brit will now rest during the offseason before targeting a deep run at the curtain-raising Australian Open in Melbourne.
The 2022 Australian Open will take place between January 17-30.
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