"It was tough. I had a few chances, but I didn't serve that well..." Andy Murray had said to the media after his 6-4, 6-4 loss to Fernando Verdasco at the Bett1HULKS in Cologne, Germany. He was honest and frank in discussing his defeat, but despite his loss, he has to be a bit relieved on his physical health and well-being.
Murray has had his share of hip problems,having 2 surgeries in a short period of time.
It was his worry on wondering if he'd ever play again due to the severe pain he's had in the past on the competitive court. Thoughts would swirl on would he have to play doubles to save his body condition and never singles again.
In the last 4 tournaments he was able to participate in singles without crippling pain. He now has to play a balancing act on trying to play pain-free and win which seems difficult to do. The Pandemic hiatus of six months of the tour, players had second doubts if the absence would help or hinder their game.
Murray knew that rest is what he'd need but as he returned with the Cincinnati Open and three tournaments in a row, he's not gone pass the third round. The Scot defeated Alexander Zverev, Frances Tiafoe and Yoshihito Nishioka in his struggles recently to do well and climb up the ATP rankings.
Proud of himself winning a 5-set battle with Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, he proved that a bit of his productive strategies are still intact. But then, losing the opener of the French Open to Stan Wawrinka in straight sets only put doubt in his aim for victory.
"It wasn't that big an improvement. I need to practise, play matches and get better," Murray emphasized. He never fails to admit about his defeats saying "I think that's the worst defeat in a grand slam in my career."
The Scotman knows that he has to play more aggressive and smart to be the victor at tournaments. He was awarded a wild card for the event but wants himself to take advantage and have success with each round. The match might have been one-sided but Murray did save three break points and lead 4-3 at one point.
He also battled back in the 2nd set to be down only 4-5. It was close but not long before the Spaniard came up with the goods to claim the victory. Andy Murray is looking defiant to come back stronger with more competitive matches and tournaments.
"He played better than me," is all the Scotman could say but hopes soon that between him and his opponents this may all change.