'Frustrated' Andy Murray reacts to Rotterdam exit and Roger Federer return

Andy Murray cut a frustrated figure after his straight sets defeat to world No. 8 Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam on Wednesday night but insists he will keep learning from losses to top-level opposition.

Murray, the two-time Wimbledon champion from Dunblane, smashed his racquet as two double faults contributed to him dropping serve at the end of a tight first set and from there the Russian assumed control.

There were encouraging signs for Murray – going toe-to-toe with one of the world’s best players in what was just his third ATP Tour-level match of the season – but he was left disappointed that his best tennis deserted him in the biggest moments.

‘I did some things quite well in the first set, but when it mattered I didn’t play well,’ said Murray.

‘I lost my serve from 30-love up: I hit two double faults, and a bad forehand. To me that’s just not good enough. I felt in that moment at the end of the first set that I blew it a bit.

‘I’m not used to making those errors in those moments and I’m finding that quite frustrating, and mentally finding myself looking back on those moments a little bit too much.’

Murray, 33, did reach the final of a Challenger event in northern Italy to kick-start his season, but has won only one of his last six tour-level contests.

Still, the world No. 123 is confident he will keep improving the more he exposes himself to that environment.

‘I want to be playing at this level because I learn a lot from a match like tonight,’ added Murray.

‘The issues and the mistakes that you make get amplified more at this level… It is getting that balance right between getting enough matches and then also playing at a level where I am able to learn and pick things up as quickly as possible.

‘I do feel tonight there were some good, positive signs there. Just when it mattered, I wasn’t good enough. I will need to improve.’

Next week, fellow tour veteran Roger Federer will return to action.

Federer last played competitive tennis in a straight sets semi-final defeat to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 2020 Australian Open but after two surgeries on his right knee, he will be back on court in Doha next week.

‘I just want to get out and compete and just enjoy doing what I am doing. I imagine Roger would be the same,’ said Murray.

‘I am sure he has been training hard and is excited to get back out there and compete. I am sure in time, providing that his body is good, that he will play top-level tennis again because he is that good.

‘Even if there is a slight drop-off physically for him, I would back his skill against most players. I am sure he will be fine.’

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