Andy Murray on ‘outside influences’ which have affected his game after Stockholm Open win

Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other

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Andy Murray spoke of his relief after returning to “the game style that works for me” as he produced his best win of 2021. The Scot was confident in his dispatching of world number 10 Jannik Sinner at the Stockholm Open on Wednesday.

It was the first time the two had met in a competitive match, and the result was a surprising one.

Sinner was the top seeded player at the tournament and arrived in Sweden with four titles to his name in the best season of his career so far.

Murray has been on the comeback trail after another surgery but was still viewed as an outsider for this clash, so it was a surprise when he controlled the tie to beat the Italian in straight sets.

After the win, the Glaswegian said he was pleased that he was able to move on from the “outside influences” he claims have affected his play in recent times.

“I did well tonight. On my serve I made him work very hard for every point,” said Murray.

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“My variety was pretty good, I returned better as the match went on and overall it was a good solid performance and something that’s kind of been missing a bit recently. It’s a good win.

“I played my game, the game style that works for me. At times in the last year I’ve got away from that a little bit. Partly outside influences at times but also a feeling that I would need to change the way that I play.

“In important moments I’ve rushed or tried to finish points a little bit too early and maybe gone against what my instincts are.

“If I’d been more clinical and made better decisions and played the right tennis, being smart, I would have finished matches sooner, and that preserves your body. Even a few weeks ago I may have lost that first set.

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“I’m playing at the top level and I’m winning matches against the top players in the world, and the ones that I’m losing I’m pushing the best players in the world. So that argument is finished. I can compete at the top level.

“But when I originally came back I doubted that. It’s been difficult at times to build that confidence with not getting the matches consistently, or winning enough of the big matches.

“I’ve said in the last few weeks, it’s coming. I don’t know if it will be this week or at the beginning of next year, but I’m going to be pushing and getting deep in tournaments again.”

To help him in his quest to compete more regularly against the sport’s big names again, Murray has been trialling a new coach this week.

Esteban Carril is Johanna Konta’s former coach, and has spent the last week with the Scot to see how well they work together.

The Spaniard had also been on trial with Emma Raducanu, but the teenager has opted for the German Torben Beltz instead.

It leaves the door open for Carril to team up with Murray if they pair feel it is a good match.

“It’s another person with a fresh set of eyes and with a good reputation and good experience. That’s why I wanted to try it out and see how it goes,” Murray said.

“These last few years have been tough for me and my team. I think having a little bit of space and distance is important.”

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