Andy Murray was made to rue his missed chances as he fell to a straight sets defeat to Alexander Zverev at the third round of Indian Wells. Murray made a terrific start to the match as he dictated play from the back of the court and capitalised on a slow Zverev start. An early break was followed by a hold that consisted of saving two break points as he took a 3-0 lead over the Olympic champion.
As the match grew on Zverev was able to find his range and confidence as some poor approach shots from the Brit saw the third seed find some powerful passing shots. A run of four games in a row saw Zverev in control as he took a 5-3 lead. Despite Murray’s tolerance in rallies and great anticipation skills, the German was able to close out the opening set to love.
There was a similar start to the second set from the three-time grand slam champion as he once again applied early pressure on the German with an early break. However Zverev’s returning had improved dramatically this season and some hard fought defence from the German saw him grind the break back immediately. Some entertaining points were produced from both players as a couple of stunning Murray points saw the Brit fend off Zverev’s returning and serving pressure.
That didn’t last for long though as on his first opportunity, Zverev took the break advantage for a 6-5 lead and a chance to serve out the match. But just as he has done so well over the past few tournaments, Murray’s resilience would not go away and a break to 30 sealed a second set tiebreak. It wasn’t to be the Brit’s day though as a mini-break in the first point was all that separated the two as a volleying exchange produced a missed Murray volley as Zverev reached the last 16 at Indian Wells.
After the match Murray told ATPTour.com that he saw the positives but regrets the chances he missed: “The positive for me to take from it is I obviously had opportunities again. I mean, I guess that’s positive. I didn’t feel like I played a great match and still had chances, so that’s positive. But yeah, I’m disappointed because I obviously want to be winning these matches. I haven’t in the past few months.”
Murray will now head home for some rest before going again in Antwerp, which starts on the 18 October.
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