• Egor Gerasimov def. [WC] Andy Murray 7-6(8), 6-1
MONTPELLIER, FRANCE – Andy Murray suffered a bruising loss on his return to regular ATP Tour action, losing to Egor Gerasimov in straight sets.

 

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Egor Gerasimov def. [WC] Andy Murray 7-6(8), 6-1

Andy Murray was knocked out of the Open Sud de France with relative ease thanks to a professional performance from Egor Gerasimov. Going into the match, it was hard to tell which Murray would turn up after his career of late has been plagued by illness and injury.

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As this was their first meeting, the opening games of the contest allowed both players to get a sense of their opponents patterns of play. It was the Belarusian who drew first blood, breaking Murray in the crucial seventh game. The euphoria was short-lived as the Brit broke back immediately to get himself back in the match. Neither player were able to create any more chances on return as they headed for a tiebreak.

In the breaker, Murray came back from 6-4 down to have a set point opportunity of his own, only for it to be saved by Gerasimov. The Belarusian sealed the 18-point breaker at the fourth time of asking with an ace. The Brit’s first serve let him down in the opening set, managing to get a dismal 44% in play.

Things went from bad to worse for the three-time Slam champion as he was broken in his opening two service games of the second set. It all happened so quickly for Murray who was just unable to find any rhythm or reason to believe he could win. The physical and mental effort required in the first set may have robbed him of vital energy needed for the second as the wheels came off. Gerasimov secured his fourth victory of the season with an ace.

Throughout the contest Murray simply looked rusty. He suffered with his serve and he struggled to hit his groundstrokes as cleanly as we are used to from him. It also seems that the 33-year-old is struggling with confidence which is highly understandable given his time away from competition. Luckily for British tennis fans, he can reclaim that confidence with minutes on the match court. Let’s not judge his latest comeback too quickly however, the next few weeks will be crucial for his season.

Murray has received a wildcard into Rotterdam, which takes place between 1-7 March.

 

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