Murray bashed out in the quarters

By for 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.


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

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