British No. 1 Andy Murray may not have gone further than the quarter-finals in Miami this year – two rounds and a title win shy of last year’s performance – yet he is certain he is well on his way to returning to his old form.
“I think my game is just about there.” Murray said following his quarter-final match. “It’s not far off. I had many opportunities today like 30‑All games and Love‑30s on his serve, and I didn’t serve so well when I went ahead in the second set. I would have liked to have done that better, but, I mean, I was hitting the ball better from the back of the court. I was playing aggressive. I was taking the ball early. I was trying to come forward a bit.
And, yeah, my game is not far from where I want it to be.”
The Scot lost in straight sets to his longtime rival and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, furthering the Serb’s lead to 12-8 in the head-to-head series. A turning point in the match took place late in the opening set, when Djokovic won a point by hitting the ball while it was on Murray’s side of the net. While this would generally be overruled, the umpire refused to reverse the decision, which frustrated the defending champion. He would go on to lose the next three points to surrender the set 7-5.
“Well, I wasn’t sure, I mean, from where I was standing, it was a very hard thing to see, but, you know, it’s a lot easier if you’re looking straight across the net to see whether someone is over or not.” Murray explained. “For me, it’s impossible to tell from where I was, but I knew it was close. So that’s why I went and asked Novak, and he told me he was over the net. That was it.”
“So that’s fine. I don’t need to keep getting asked about it. If it was over the net, it was over the net, and I was right to complain and that’s it. I was correct.
And then, yeah, I mean, it maybe had a slight bearing on that game, but I was still up a break in the second set, so, yeah.”
While he would go through a renaissance in the second set, Murray was unable to sustain the momentum and lost three consecutive games to hand over the second set 6-3.
Irrespective of his performance on Wednesday afternoon, Murray is still more satisfied with his performance this week than in the previous Masters event at Indian Wells, where he exited in the fourth round to Milos Raonic.
The Briton will now set his sights on furthering the Great Britain Davis Cup team’s chances at reaching the final, when he leads the team against Italy in Naples next week.
“I’m happier with my game this week than I was last week. I played some very good tennis this week, probably some of the best I have played since I have come back, so that’s pleasing. And, yeah, I need to get back on the practice court after having a break and see how my game translates onto the clay. I’m getting there.”
Murray is scheduled to take part in the Great Britain-Italy Davis Cup tie next week from April 4-6 in Naples, Italy.