Andy Murray once again lost the big points in his straight sets defeat to Diego Schwartzman in Antwerp. Murray once again made a positive start to a big match as a loose Schwartzman forehand handed the Brit with the early break for 3-1. After consolidating for a 4-1 lead, Murray couldn’t capitalise on his strong start as the Argentinian was getting better from the baseline and soon got the break back in the seventh game.
The three-time grand slam champion was rapidly losing control of the opening set as he couldn’t maintain the tempo that he created in the opening five games. A mixture of pace, height and depth saw Schwartzman cause Murray problems and a flurry of deep cross-court forehands saw the Argentinian seal a second break. A five game winning streak was sealed with a service hold to love as Schwartzman took the opening set in 57 minutes.
Schwartzman continued to apply the pressure in the second set, creating five break points in the opening three return games in comparison to none for Murray. Eventually the pressure told and Schwartzman broke on his fifth break point to seal a 3-2 lead. However Murray’s willingness to never give up was on show and in the eighth game, the Brit broke back after a Schwartzman forehand just missed its mark.
Murray survived two tough service games in the ninth and eleventh service games as the second set was forced into a tiebreak. The tiebreak produced entertaining rallies where the returner was getting more joy than the server but in the end it was Schwartzman who held his nerve to seal victory in the 14th point of the tiebreak.
Another match where Murray couldn’t win the crucial points against a top 20 player as his hard-fought effort in the first round proved costly against Schwartzman. After the match Murray was brutally honest saying his attitude was poor, “Mentally today I was poor. My attitude was poor on the court and those are two things you can control,” Murray told the ATP website.
“If they’re not there, that also will make the decision-making harder. Sport is a results business. If you play well or poorly, it doesn’t really matter if you lose the matches. You need to be winning and winning matches maybe when you’re not playing your best, which I have done a few times these past few months, but certainly not as many as I would have liked. That’s obviously what I want [in] the last few tournaments [of the season].”
Murray’s next tournament will be in Vienna which starts on Monday.
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