Murray’s off-court experiences were a major topic of conversation around Indian Wells. The Brit had posted on Instagram earlier in the week that after lacing his wedding ring into his trainers for practice, he left the shoes under his car in the hotel parking lot. The next morning, the shoes were gone. After a viral internet campaign failed to locate them, he told the hotel he was filing a police report, which prompted a further investigation by the staff.
As he explained it, “about an hour later they turned up. One of the employees at the hotel found them in their lost and found. Thankfully managed to get them back, which was good.” Walking on court Friday night, the ring was again laced to his trainers.
While the scoreline of his return match was convincing, Murray downplayed the significance. He told the press, “I don’t think I played amazing tennis or the best tennis that I can play. But I still won comfortably against a very good player just by knuckling down on every point.”
Murray was not discouraged in recognising he was not performing at his best. Rather, he framed this as particular asset of his: “That was always a huge strength of mine, that I found ways to win matches maybe when I wasn’t playing so well.”
The Brit did acknowledge ongoing struggles to maintain concentration through matches: “I might be focused on maybe what just happened rather than what’s about to happen, sometimes looking back a bit. Sometimes in matches when I’ve had chances and opportunities, maybe I’m looking forwards too much, maybe concentrating on the wrong stuff.”
For years, injuries have interrupted his schedule, so it should come as no surprise that Murray expressed enthusiasm to play now: “I want to keep playing whilst my body feels good. I don’t want to overplay obviously. I have played quite a few tournaments recently, but I’ve not had any really deep runs.” He added “I want to try to play as much as I can between now and the end of the year to set myself up as best as I can for next season.”
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