Toothless Murray bunted out

By for on
Andy Murray was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters event 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3 by Tomas Berdych. The Scot was out gunned and looked bereft of ideas in a passive car crash of a tennis match.

Murray has never beaten a top 8 player on clay, and today provided plenty of evidence as to why that's the case. When he's at his red hot peak, such as against Nadal in the semis of this event last year, Murray is able to threaten good results against great clay courters. When operating some way below his best, as he was today, he's unable to generate the consistency and power required to dominate from the back of the court.

Murray was in trouble from the start, staving off seven break points in the first set alone. Berdych pounced on frequent short balls from the Murray forehand, driving the Scot out wide before trotting to the net to put away the inevitable floated forehand return. Throughout the match the Scot was unable to counter this tactic and it was only some big serving (and big misses from Berdych) that kept the first set competitive. Seven spurned break points and four set points later and Murray emerged as the unlikely winner of the first set tie break.

Berdych knuckled down in the second set. Fractionally safer ground strokes and a little more consistency resulted in the Czech cantering to victory.

This was a horribly disappointing performance for the Scot, and questions will again be raised about his competitiveness on this surface. On this evidence, he's unlikely to become the first Brit to win a tour clay court event since Buster Mottram in 1977.
Eyebrow raise.
April 20, 2012, 01:05 PM
By Bevc

passive car crash of a tennis match.
April 20, 2012, 01:16 PM
By Mark

Was it really that bad?  Eyebrow raise.
Berdych was at the top of his game and serving brilliantly and Andy was far from his but no certainly not a "car crash." hammer
April 20, 2012, 01:31 PM
By blueberryhill

Nor toothless, IMO.  I've seen worse results and a less critical headlines.
April 20, 2012, 01:38 PM
By Bevc

Buster Mottram 1976 I think, in Palma.
April 20, 2012, 01:41 PM
By Bevc

Maybe Nigel's April Fools wasn't so silly after all. devil
April 20, 2012, 01:42 PM
By Mark

He was technically and tactically somewhat below par though
April 20, 2012, 01:43 PM
By araminta

He was technically and tactically somewhat below par though

Of course. I think we'd all agree on that.
April 20, 2012, 01:44 PM
By blueberryhill

Article is a bit wrong, I believe he beat Davydenko in the quarters in Monte-Carlo in 2009 and he was seeded 8 when the top 8 players were playing!

Regardless of that it was a horrible match to watch!
April 20, 2012, 01:47 PM
By Adam Street

I think some of the comments are a bit harsh. Andy is not a good clay courter and it takes him time to play well on it. The courts are bad too just look at how the ball was bouncing. I think he did the best he could on the day. After all two good clay court player have been injured and I do not think Andy was 100% happy with the court. He will remember he got an injury on clay last year. So please do not be so harsh with your opinions.
April 20, 2012, 01:48 PM
By Littlebuddha

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