- Daniil Medvedev  def Andy Murray [WC] 6-4 6-2
- Yoshihito Nishioka [Q] def Dan Evans  3-6 6-4 6-3
MIAMI, USA – Andy Murray is looking to seek clarity with Ivan Lendl in his upcoming training block after losing to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets while Dan Evans suffered a setback in his season with a three set loss to Yoshihito Nishioka.
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Daniil Medvedev  def Andy Murray [WC] 6-4 6-2
Andy Murray heads into the grass court season having failed to win back-to-back matches at a tournament since January. The three-time grand slam champion lost in the second round to top seed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets. The match started at a gruelling tempo with Murray gaining relative but inconsistent success in the long rallies against the top seed.
Eventually Medvedev, who is looking to reclaim his world number one spot with a semi-final in Miami, broke in the third game in a brutal opening few games to take a 2-1 advantage. Both players threatened immediately on return after that with Murray anticipating the Russian’s serve and patterns of play better as the match went on.
However there would be no breakthrough for Murray as Medvedev’s deep and accurate shot-making would prove to be too much for the Brit. In the end the Russian came through a tight final service game to seal the opening set in 46 minutes.
The second set was much more encouraging from Murray as he produced a higher level of tennis in the opening couple of games, playing much more aggressively and dictating play much more effectively. However Medvedev continued to apply the pressure and an unfortunate slip from Murray saw the world number two take advantage as he grinded out a break for a 3-2 lead.
From then on it was a battle for Murray who couldn’t create a break point on return despite troubling the Russian from time to time. Medvedev took control of the match and would break for a second time as he closed out the win to seal a place in the third round where he takes on Pedro Martinez.
Murray seeks clarity over practice
As for Murray he has already began work with Ivan Lendl who was in his box for the match against Medvedev. Lendl has helped Murray to three grand slam titles and two Olympic gold medals and this will be the third time the duo have worked with each other.
Speaking to the Telegraph after the match Murray will be seeking clarity over what to do in practice as he prepares for a big training block in Miami, “I think probably some clarity over the right way to play and the right way to practise,” Murray admitted.
“I don’t feel I’ve been practising the right things probably for 18 months or so. It’s difficult to undo that in the space of a few weeks. Hence one of the reasons why I’m taking a big period of training to try and change some of those things and hopefully get my game to a place where it’s more competitive against the top players again.
“I do feel like I played better here than I did in Indian Wells. But it’s going to take a lot of work, because like I said, it’s been quite a while that I’ve maybe not been doing the right things on the practice court. It’s going to take quite a while to change some of those habits.”
Murray’s next ATP tournament won’t be until June where he returns to the grass courts as he now enters a big training block in Miami.
Yoshihito Nishioka [Q] def Dan Evans  3-6 6-4 6-3
There was also a bad day at the office for another Brit in Dan Evans as he now has a 4-0 deficit in his head-to-head over Yoshihito Nishioka after he lost in three sets to the qualifier in Miami. Evans made a positive start to the match despite failing to convert his first three break points in his opening couple of return games.
Eventually Evans found success on return and broke in two consecutive return games towards the end of the set as he took the opening set 6-3. However in the second set it went downhill as Nishioka found his rhythm on return and the Japanese qualifier broke in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Nishioka saved two break points in the sixth game and comfortable held on to level the match at one set all.
Nishioka carried the momentum into the final set where he broke in the opening game before Evans would retaliate in the fourth game finding his aggressive tennis again. However Evans failed to win the big points on serve and was punished as Nishioka broke in his last two return games to seal a fourth consecutive victory over the Brit and book a last 32 clash with Lloyd Harris.
Evans will now turn his attention to the clay court season where he plays in Marrakech on the week of the 4th of April where as it stands he will be the top seed.
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