Murray bashed out in the quarters

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray was bashed out of the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Masters last night as a ruthless Juan Martin del Potro took no quarter. After two-and-a-half hours of relentless ball-crushing in the 35-degree Californian heat, the Argentinian prevailed 6-7 6-3 6-1.

In the four years since the pair last met, the Scot has evolved an aggressive game style under Ivan Lendl, but that was never going to get the job done against the ultimate ball-basher.

Perhaps Murray forgot what modus operandi he used to establish a 5-1 winning head-to-head against del Potro. Or perhaps the Argentinian, a staunch Catholic, was simply running on Pope Power, following the election of his countryman to the Papacy this week.

Divine intervention, though, was in short supply for del Potro in the opening set, as Murray was able to wallop his way to a tiebreak. Perhaps the Argentinian was taken aback by the Scot’s surprise game plan. Leading 4-2 in the breaker, Murray got the better of a brutal 43-shot exchange to wrest control of the tiebreak and first set.

But the world number three couldn’t keep it up. At the start of the second set, Murray took a toilet break, during which his mind told him it would be taking a little holiday – possibly the Seychelles. Murray’s brain was as good as its word and the Scot floated a few loose groundshots into the tramlines and drifted quickly to 0-3.

From there, the gangly Argentinian put pedal to metal as he levelled a match in which Murray would record a whopping 49 unforced errors to del Potro’s 27. In particular, the Argentinian’s serve, once considered a relative liability for such a beanpole, went unbroken and unthreatened throughout.

As the deciding set opened, Murray looked more inclined than ever to thump his way out of danger. But the presence of ill-advised drop shots amid all the rampant ball-hatred surely suggested the mental vacation was far from over.

In the second game, the Scot finally earned a break point, a flickering flame that del Potro snuffed out with a crushing overhead. Murray was immediately broken in the next game and, while the Scot’s attempt to break back in the following game lasted nine minutes, he could muster only one break point. It was to be his last, as del Potro held for 3-1 and continued to pummel his way to a deserved victory.

Murray later said: “You need to play a high-quality match from start to finish and I had a bit of a letdown at the start of the second set. I haven’t played a match for six weeks before this week and he played the big points better than me. He’s won a lot of matches recently and that comes with it.

“The conditions were challenging. If I look at the bigger picture, after taking a break you don’t expect to go out and win every match straightaway. He played a very good match and there were a few things tactically I would have liked to have done better. I could have served and returned better.”

Murray now heads to Miami, with the consolation that he has at least narrowed the gap on Federer’s number two spot. Del Potro, meanwhile, will be nervously fingering his rosary beads as he contemplates a semi-final against Novak Djokovic, a man once again trying to prove that he’s nature’s attempt at a tennis machine.
Phil seems to be MIA, so this was from memory. Sorry if it's not up to snuff.
March 16, 2013, 10:25 AM
By Grabcopy

 goodjob great report
March 16, 2013, 10:49 AM
By angiebabez

Nice one Nigel.

Pretty miserable performance from Murray. It's a real shame he doesn't have the consistency of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic.
March 16, 2013, 11:13 AM
By boogers

You are right about the consistency boogers and I doubt he ever will. His fans better get used to it.
He is a mercurial talent, not a robot.
That being said, being No 4 in this age of brilliance ain't such a shame.
March 16, 2013, 11:16 AM
By blueberryhill

Nice report Nigel, ta! Just don't know what happened to Andy in the 2nd set Frown(((((
March 16, 2013, 11:20 AM
By ChrisMac

threw it away really...hes always played del potro quite nervously . Its unbelievable how well JMDP defends from his forehand though...murray was hitting some of his biggest forehands into that wing and it was coming back with interest or to a length.
March 16, 2013, 11:46 AM
By Johnny Handsome

Amusing report as usual from Nigel.

Not so amusing performance by Andy. I dont know what happened after the 1st set. Incredulous, the whole match. Taking the first set and then his return game collapsing in that way.

This loss may lead to Andy losing confidence for Miami. Hope he moves forward and puts it behind him.
We'll see.
March 16, 2013, 12:10 PM
By lashurst

Not really a surprise. Look at football teams. They come back after the off-season and play 1st round in Europe against some lowly ranked Scandinavian teams that have been playing for the last 6 months, and get beat. Andy is fit but he isn't match fit. Not yet and not to the standard that he can beat a top 8 player. But this was Andy's choice and its a unique one amongst the top guys. If it was me Id be playing tournaments, not training but then again he's been hopeless here the last few years. Maybe next time he should play Rotterdam and Dubai and then just pretend he's injured for Indian Wells.
March 16, 2013, 12:22 PM
By BigNose

I feel all your remarks unfounded. murray through is own choice decided to train with lendl so has not played any matches since australia. ithink long term this is good. he has never done well at indian wells partial because of the altitude and the ball bounces differently. with him going onto miami his second home I think you willsee a different guy. please do not give himup now so close to being 2nd in the world. howcan you say these things when he works so hard to improve. I often wonder how many of u play the game and understand the problems they have. nole haschanged , determined andconfidentnow a few years ago he was not. everyone is different, give murray thebenefit of thedoubt. perhaps he decided to give sometime to thenextevent.

q




March 16, 2013, 12:44 PM
By jdonald

You are right about the consistency boogers and I doubt he ever will. His fans better get used to it.
He is a mercurial talent, not a robot.
That being said, being No 4 in this age of brilliance ain't such a shame.

Andy is three in the world, not four, and he will soon be 2.
March 16, 2013, 12:48 PM
By teejay1

yes
March 16, 2013, 01:00 PM
By angiebabez

well.. I didnt see the match, but I was really surprise with the result, Im argentinian, but I support Andy since a couple of years, I hope that took more seriously this matches.. Think
March 16, 2013, 01:27 PM
By mariano gimenez

Andy is three in the world, not four, and he will soon be 2.


Yeah. I do know but my point was that he was 4 for a long, long time, when Fed, Rafa and lately Nole were at their brilliant best.
March 16, 2013, 01:37 PM
By blueberryhill

"Pope power" Smile

Andy always does well in Miami and his matches here will have helped to get him grooved.
March 16, 2013, 01:48 PM
By janetx

A great match report ! One of the reasons MW is the first port of call for fans looking for the lowdown on our man's progress - or lack of it.

I watched set 1 and most of set 2 before my net connection developed terminal buffering disease, and I had to give up. I then went to use my mobile to use the BBC site to keep up with live score, and - NOTHING ! What's going on at the BBC ? No men's scores on teletext and now this ! I then tried the ATP site, which did feature the score, but after refreshing for about 15 mins, the score seemed stuck at 1-0 Murray in set 3.  So, I popped in to MW and, although I didn't get a live score, the comments left here left me in no doubt how things were going. So, head down and zzzzzzz's time for me !

As for Andy, I can't believe the change in his game after a solid 1st set. From what I saw of set 2, DelPo didn't significantly improve ( he was solid the whole match), but Andy's game seemed to disintegrate. I wonder, if the decision not to play since AO has had the wrong effect - as Andy suggested in his interview.  It's going to be very interesting to see how he shapes up at Miami. The optimist in me says he'll be tuned in, tuned up and ready to go ! cmonandy
March 16, 2013, 02:09 PM
By sidtypical

A fair report. As to some of the posts which I feel are pathetic, I will be delighted to see Andy rubbing their noses in their remarks  when he does well in Miami and on the clay. Somewhere I saw this written, "Andy keeps losing to lower ranked players", , he only has two players above him so losing to lower ranked players will happen!!
My wish is that Del Po plays as he did yesterday, beats Nole and then goes onto win the title. Be good for him as he has never won  a 1,000 tournament., also it will show how Andy's loss was not a so called disaster.
March 16, 2013, 02:13 PM
By michelle

Anyone got the post match interview?? Please
March 16, 2013, 02:15 PM
By angiebabez

On the plus side, a QF is a much better effort than recent years ! Smile
March 16, 2013, 02:19 PM
By sidtypical


My wish is that Del Po plays as he did yesterday, beats Nole and then goes onto win the title. Be good for him as he has never won  a 1,000 tournament., also it will show how Andy's loss was not a so called disaster.


I don't have a great deal of time for Delpo, mostly because I don't particularly like his brand of tennis, but I thought he played very well last night and kept his composure after the first set when he could easily have gone AWOL.  I would like to see him beat Djoko too - I don't think for a moment that he will lie down and let Novak walk all over him as Jo-Willy did.
March 16, 2013, 02:29 PM
By Alis

well.. I didnt see the match, but I was really surprise with the result, Im argentinian, but I support Andy since a couple of years, I hope that took more seriously this matches.. Think
Hi mariano wave  Welcome to Murrays World!



A very good report Nigel.  I wish my memory was as good as yours. Smile

Well Delpo might have been running on Pope Power but I'm not sure what Andy was running on, although whatever it was it clearly got flushed down the loo after the first set.

It was certainly a somewhat bizarre performance from him even if it didn't entirely surprise me because, as has already been mentioned, Andy has still to find his way back to full match fitness.  Delpo, on the other hand, already had several matches and an ATP title under his belt following the AO, and that gave him something to build on.  I truly don't think though that this loss will have a negative impact on him going into Miami given that IW has, apart from 2009 when he reached the final, not been a happy hunting ground for him, yet despite everything at least he managed to reach the QF, whereas in 2011 and 2012 he did play a warm-up tournament but exited ignominiously in his first match. Also Andy is a changed player mentally these days and I'm reasonably optimistic that we'll see better things once he gets back to a place where he feels more comfortable. 

One other thing that did strike me as being positive here was that, although Andy knew he was playing well below form in the 2nd and 3rd sets there was little outward sign of it - no grabbing at parts of his body, undue scowling or glaring at his box, just a rather petulant complaint to the umpire about a security guard whose moving around was distracting him, although that propensity to be easily distracted, particularly when things aren't going well, has long been cause for some concern but one which, like his inconsistency, we his fans might just have to learn to live with as being part and parcel of what Andy is.
March 16, 2013, 02:29 PM
By Aileen

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