"I need to have a long, hard think about it," Andy Murray said after his devastating loss to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open's first round. There was many reasons evident why the Scot couldn't have a successful match with Wawrinka; it wasn't the weather either.
What normally would have been the French Open even in May to June, it was pushed back till September due to the world health crisis. Players had bundled up in leggings and jackets but the cold, damp Paris air wasn't Murray's reason for a poor showing.
"I don't feel like that's a valid reason," the Scot had sadly murmured. The last time he'd had a clay court competition was three years ago. He was suffering with the hip injury and strongly though of retirement.
The Scot's game lacked spunk and good percentages with not many first serves going ina dn over 24 unforced errors. The last time he played was only a few weeks ago at the U.S. Open where he'd made it through the first round winning a 5-setter off the young Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka.
The second round he was defeated by Felix Auger-Aliassime in three straight sets. Murray had though it would be to his advantage to have played the Open and the Western and Southern for practice, but it seemed to have taken the sizzle out of his game entirely.
There were heavier balls used, but that wasn't Murray's complaint. The Court Philippe Chatrier was void of nearly any fans to give out moral support, something that Murray thrived on in previous pre-Pandemic matches.
Wawrinka secured a spot into the 2nd round after a straight sets win over Andy Murray
The 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 loss to the Swiss might have been a good representation of what Murray couldn't accomplish over a top player as Wawrinka.
Murray now ranked No. 111 and the Swiss No. 17 are not the players they used to be. Murray is feeling the realism of his depreciating game. "Even if I played very well, it would have been no guarantee that I would win that match."
Andy Murray has went through two hip procedures in a few years and Wawrinka, his knees. He is sympathetic to the Scot on having the desire to play. Wawrinka said that it was "A bit simpler than I expected...I have a lot of respect for Andy.
I had operations too." Murray had the idea that the excellent performance he pulled off against Alexander Zverev at the Cincinnati Open at Flushing was indicative of him getting his game back. But looking at his participation at the French told a different hardening story.
Injuries and the effects it can have on a player are becoming a stark reality for Murray. It's not the horrific pain that had plagued him like before but his ability to not be able to perform like he used to consistently.
He still feels playing without pain is better and says "I'm going to try toplay as much as I can between now and the end of the year." The Scot will play two tournaments in Colgate happening after the French Open and then re-evaluate the quality of his matches.
Andy Murray says that he "wont' brush aside" this loss at the French Open. He knows that he can't be facing the bitter truth, good or not will be what he will have to do to see where he actually stands in playing tennis again.