Andy Murray confident of improving on ‘top 60’ level after Zhuhai loss to Alex de Minaur | Tennis | Sport

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Andy Murray put his ability at “top 60” in the world despite his 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Alex de Minaur.

The former world No 1, currently ranked 413, said after his second round defeat in the Zhuhai Championships: “I’m not playing top-20 or top-30 tennis right now. I’m probably playing top-70 or top-60 sort of level.

“However, I can still make a few improvements in the next couple of days before playing I Beijing.”

Murray admitted he took the first complete day off of his tour career yesterday just to be able to give himself a fighter’s chance of getting through his second match in 48 hours.

As it was, the former British No 1 battled heroically for two hours and 42 minutes, but finally succumbed to the 20-year-old Alex de Minaur in the humid intensity of Centre Court.

Afterwards, he was still left adamant that the only thing stopping him from winning these encounters is a little more match fitness in his hip.

And after spending more than two hours on court in another three-set battle with Tennys Sandgren two days earlier, this week has been the most rigorous test of his ability to compete at the highest level following his operation.

But he accepts that it is a process that will take time and needs some careful management.

“Yesterday was the first time in my entire career that I didn’t practice the day before a match,” Murray said.

“I was tired after the first round and tried to rest and recover as much as possible.

“That was something that I have done differently and I’m trying to maybe look at just other ways to give my body a bit of a break and a rest when I can, which is maybe something in the past that I wouldn’t have done.

“Normally, I would have been in the courts yesterday practising and stuff.

“So some things I’m trying to do differently to work out what the best thing is for my body just now.

“But I learned that my hip held up well after two pretty long matches.

“The rest of my body is just tired, which is I guess normal. It takes time to get used to that.”

While at times Murray’s shot-playing was back to this three-time Grand Slam-winning best, he still cannot reach that level for more than a few points at a time.

“My feeling tonight was that at points I played very well, but I didn’t feel like I was able to sustain my level,” he added.

“The second set I dropped and also in the third set, in comparison to the first set, it was a little bit scrappy, there was some good points in there, some good stuff.

“But for me physically I was struggling and I could play one or two good points, but then I was trying to finish the points a little bit early and shot selection then goes down when you’re tired.”



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