Andy Murray, the world number one, bowed out to the Croatian Borna Coric in two sets (6-3, 6-3). The 20-year-old ranked 59 convincingly beat last year’s runner-up. The Briton appeared in the Caja Mágica press conference room to discuss what happened. “Most things weren’t working particularly well”.
Murray regretted not having found a better way to get into the match. “That was disappointing because you’re not always going to play your best tennis, but you can still find ways to make it difficult for your opponent, and I didn’t do that at all today“.
A succession of errors and a late reaction made it impossible for him to mount a comeback. “It wasn’t until really almost the last game where I said ‘I’m going to try’, and I stood way back behind the baseline. I was playing baseline high, slow balls to try and get the ball in the court and make it a little bit different for him. But that wasn’t until it was almost too late. Maybe because I was getting frustrated rather than slowing down, I was trying to speed the points up. The mistakes can build up quite quickly and the match can get away from you fast. That was what happened“.
Murray found similarities between today’s match and the one he lost to Coric in Dubai. “Today felt quite similar to the match I played against him in Dubai. He serves well. He moves extremely well. He’s very consistent. If you’re not on your game, and he’s moving well, he can make it very, very tough for you“.
To close, the Briton made it clear that he is not taking early defeat at a tournament where he reached the final last year lightly. “I definitely think I need to be concerned about today. It’s not always the worst thing losing a match, but it’s sometimes the manner of how you lose the match is what can be concerning or disappointing. In Barcelona, I was disappointed to lose, but I felt like I competed really well. The problem is that today I didn’t make things difficult for him and that is disappointing and worrying”.
Croatian player Borna Coric now faces a quarter-final against Austrian Dominic Thiem, the world number nine, who beat Grigor Dimitrov.