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I was hopeful for Andy Murray to string together at least a few wins at the 2023 Miami Open, as many others probably were too. And I also thought that he would beat Dusan Lajovic in the first round quite comfortably. However, it obviously wasn’t meant to be, and Andy Murray went down in straight sets to the world number 76. This was probably one of the biggest shocks out of all the Miami Open first-round matches, especially with the form that Murray has been in recently.
Let’s not forget that he made the finals in Dubai just a few weeks ago. And he followed that tournament by making the third round of Indian Wells. Sure, he went down to Jack Draper in straight sets in the 3rd round of Indian Wells, but he was showing strong signs of his former self – to some degree. Naturally, the movement and power on certain strokes aren’t quite what they used to be, but the mental strength and court craft seemed as good as ever.
Therefore, when looking at his results and the way he’s been playing, I really did think he would win a couple of rounds at the Miami Open. And based on the Miami Open draw, he could have set up a third-round clash with Carlos Alcaraz, the world number one. Anyway, none of that will happen due to his loss to Lajovic.
But what is it that made him lose this match, and should we read anything into this going into the clay court swing? Let’s address such questions right now.
Murray’s Loss to Lajovic – A Blip or Something Serious?
It goes without saying that Murray will be bitterly disappointed to have lost in the first round of the Miami Open. And in his post-match press conference, he specifically highlighted his movement and the conditions as reasons for the loss. Therefore, let me give you a quick breakdown on this while discussing the impact of this loss moving into the European clay court swing.
Conditions and Movement
Given the way in which Murray plays, he does rely heavily on moving well around the court. He is a bit of a grinder really, even if he can inject pace on the groundstrokes when needed. So if he felt that he was moving poorly, this would have definitely hindered his performance. However, the good news is that he didn’t cite any injuries or problems with his hip, so we can probably chalk this up to a bad day in the office.
As for the conditions, Miami is much quicker than Indian Wells, and Murray clearly struggled to time his groundstrokes, especially when going on the offensive.
No Serious Impact Going Forward
Following his post-match press conference, many Murray fans will have been a bit worried. However, while he will probably stay in Miami for a few more days to practice, I believe that he will then head back to Europe to prepare for the clay court season. And although he’s taken a bad loss here, I don’t think it will ruin his confidence or belief. Bear in mind Murray is also a top-level clay court player, so he should be just fine!