Consistency, fatigue or something more?

It’s becoming a regular pattern, and a – for now at least – small crisis for Andy Murray and his camp: A fine tournament win followed by a weak first round loss to a journeyman.

Last weeks display in Marseille was typical of the Scot, some gritty, at times awkward wins (Stanislas Wawrinka, Nicolas Mahut Mahut) and some dominant displays (Jesse Huta Galung and a recovering Mario Ancic. Of course his triumph was aided by the early exits of Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the dissapointing Richard Gasquet and Australia’s new darling Novak Djokovic.

Such luck is commonplace in todays game however and Murrays second title of the year indicates a prosperous 2008.

Freshly returned to the top ten and surely brimming with confidence, Murray then joins Marcos Baghdatis in exiting the first round of Rotterdam; losing tamely to Robin Hasse.

Murray insisted fatigue was not a factor: “I wasn’t tired physically or mentally, i felt decent”, but even after beefing up somewhat since his gangly early years Murray’s physical form can still be improved majorly to help his stamina.

Instead Britain’s number one used a rather tired excuse of a differing court (this never really washes when practice time on said courts should surely eradicate any issues for a pro player).

Perhaps his dismissive view of the loss, coupled with his recent title suggests that committments lie predominantly with the more glamourous, and rewarding trio of upcoming tournaments: “This is just one of those matches you can afford in tournaments like this…now I will have some days off before I start preparing for Dubai and the Indian Wells and Miami stretch. It still has been a good start of the year.”

The above comment shows a still-young attitude towards the game, that may well change as he matures, either way it has indeed been a fine start to Murray’s third full year on the ATP circuit.


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