Following his first-round loss at Roland Garros to Stan Wawrinka, Mats Wilander said Andy Murray shouldn't take away the young players' wilds cards. Murray's former coach Alex Corretja thinks differently, believing we have to give the Briton more time and that we shouldn't draw conclusions based on one best-of-five match on clay in tough conditions.
The Spaniard thinks Andy will feel better during the indoor season and shorter encounters, expecting more from him in Australia 2021. Struggling with an injury since November last year, Murray couldn't play in the opening two months of 2020, halted by the coronavirus after that.
The Briton made a return in Cincinnati, beating Alexander Zverev but losing ground after that. After a marathon US Open victory from two sets to love down, Andy fell in the second round to Felix Auger-Aliassime, suffering an earlier loss in Paris against a former champion Stan Wawrinka.
Taking a wild card, there was a risk for Andy to draw a player from the top, crossing ways with the top-20 rival who defeated him 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 win in a swift an hour and 37 minutes. Wawrinka dominated the shortest and mid-range exchanges, landing 42 winners and 27 unforced errors and leaving Murray on an inferior 10-26 ratio.
Andy served at only 36%, a recipe for disaster as he gave serve away six times from eight chances offered to the Swiss, wasting all three break chances and leaving the court in less than 100 minutes. Squandering game points in the third game, Andy suffered a break when his forehand landed long, with Wawrinka firing an ace down the T line to confirm it and forge a 3-1 gap.
The Swiss broke again after a forehand winner, closing the set with the third straight successful return game at 5-1 after 33 minutes.
Alex Corretja hopes Andy Murray will feel better in the rest of the season.
Rattling off 19 of the last 23 points, Stan had the momentum on his side, although Murray stayed in touch earlier in the second set with two comfortable holds.
Stan forced an error from his opponent in game six to grab a break at 15, placing an easy forehand winner at 5-3 to forge two sets to love advantage in 67 minutes. In set number three, Wawrinka broke Murray's serve in the first game after a perfect drop shot and repelled three break points in the next one to remain in front.
The Briton held in games three and five to stay within one break deficit, only until game seven that Wawrinka clinched with a backhand down the line winner, holding at 15 with an ace a few minutes later to propel himself into the next round.
"Each player has had his own experience, and I respect what Mats said because that's his experience and his feeling. In my opinion, playing best-of-five on clay in these conditions after such a long time without playing matches, in two-and-a-half years where he hasn't played much, is not a reference.
Once he starts the indoor season, he will feel much better playing best-of-three encounters and get the rhythm he needs to get in shape again for the next season. He will have an off-season and get ready to play matches before Melbourne, where he should feel better.
I understand Andy is trying to get back at his best, and I'm sure he knows it will be challenging. Still, you have to give him a chance to see if he feels better on the court, no matter if he wins Majors again or not. Most likely, when you have such a long career, you know you are in a privileged position.
It's sometimes difficult to enjoy that. Like David Ferrer, when he said he would retire, enjoying it much more and knowing by the end of the year that he gave his everything, which is important," Alex Corretja said.