Stuttgart | Murray falls but Draper hangs on

Players are now having to change their clay court shoes for grass court ones and quickly adapt to the natural surface in preparation for the Wimbledon Championships which start on the 1st of July.

On a quick surface like grass, the sets are tight. When your chances come you have to be clinical – he was, and I wasn’t Andy Murray

The 37-year-old Andy Murray’s early preparations suffered a bit of a blow when he lost his opening match at the Boss Open in Stuttgart, to American Marcos Giron, 6-3 6-4.

Murray, a two-time champion at Wimbledon, is expected to bring the curtain down on his career at this year’s SW19 event, continues in his efforts to try and recapture the form that brought him 46 titles including three at Grand Slam level, two singles Olympic Gold medals as well as a term at World No.1.

Currently his 75-minute loss to the world No.54 is his third consecutive defeat of the season which has spluttered to get started. His record on the main tour now stands at 5 wins from 11 events, his last success coming in Miami when he posted two wins.

While he is more than happy with his physical fitness, the Scot is pin-pointing his poor returning as the cause of lack of form.

“I’ve been struggling with breaking serve. I’ve not broken for a few matches and that’s usually been a strength of mine,” Murray said.

“On a quick surface like grass, the sets are tight. When your chances come you have to be clinical – he was, and I wasn’t.”

Murray repeated a point he has made frequently this year: “My game needs to improve, the level of tennis on the tour is high. I need to play better if I want to win more matches.”

Howeverr, he did draw one positive from the match which augurs well for his possible swan-song on grass.

“I’ve had some tough months, but physically I feel OK just now – the ankle, the back. It’s all felt better since going onto grass,” he added.

And he would have had a good test had he been successful for he would have faced the British No.2, Jack Draper, in round two, the sixth seed, who earlier defeated the Austrian Sebastian Offner in a tight contest, 7-6(4) 7-6(5).


Cameron Norrie gets off to positive start in Nottingham

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Meanwhile the British No.1 Cameron Norrie is honing his game at the Nottingham Challenger where he was held on court for one-hour and 43-minutes by Sho Shimabukuro.

In the early part of the game, the Japanese player ranked 215, looked all at sea but he recovered his poise and certainly tested Norrie before conceding the opening round match,

“I had a disappointing clay season. I wanted to do much better in the French Open, but I think it’s a positive that I get to come here and prepare better for the grass,” Norrie said.

“I don’t think I played my best, always that first match back on grass is not easy.”

Norrie will face Jack Pinnington Jones in the second round on Thursday after the 21-year-old defeated Arthur Fery 4-6 7-5 6-3 in an all-British first-round tie.

“I want to get matches this week,” Norrie added. “I’m really excited, I know I can play well on the grass.”





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