Murray focuses on killer instinct after falling at final fence

Andy Murray was beaten in the final of the Moselle Open in Metz yesterday but the 20-year-old Scot headed for Moscow last night in good spirits. Although Murray lost 6-0, 2-6, 3-6 to Tommy Robredo, he has enjoyed his best week on the tour for seven months and should go into the Kremlin Cup, the second tournament of his five-event autumn campaign, with renewed confidence.

Having had a miserable summer, particularly after suffering a wrist injury that kept him out of the French Open and Wimbledon, Murray has seen his fortunes take a sharp turn for the better since making his comeback in August. He followed a good run to the third round of the US Open by helping Britain to victory over Croatia in the Davis Cup and then reaching the Metz final, his first since successfully defending his San Jose title in California in February.

For a while it seemed that Murray would round off his week in perfect style, winning yesterday's first set in just 23 minutes. Robredo, however, broke Murray's serve in the opening games of the second and third sets before sealing victory in an hour and 52 minutes. "The lesson to learn is that you mustn't ease the pressure after winning a set easily," Murray said. "However, it has been a good week."

The San Jose titles remain Murray's only tournament victories. He has now been beaten in four finals, having also lost in Bangkok in 2005, Washington in 2006 and Doha earlier this year.

There is certainly no loss of face in losing to Robredo, who is ranked No 9 in the world and has now won three tournaments this year following his victories in Auckland and Beijing. The Spaniard had won his only previous match against Murray, in Las Vegas last year, in straight sets.

Having made such a promising start to the year, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, winning in San Jose and making the semi-finals of successive Masters series tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, Murray played only eight matches on tour in the following six months. After hurting his hip, knee and ankle in a fall in California, Murray damaged his groin in Miami, his back in Monte Carlo and his wrist in Hamburg.

Murray dropped only one set en route to the final in Metz, against Janko Tipsarevic in the first round. He next beat Michael Llodra, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and, in the semi-finals, Guillermo Canas, striking a psychological blow in advance of Britain's World Group Davis Cup tie against Argentina in February. Last week was the first time Murray has won more than two matches in a row on the Tour since March.

The win should give Murray a small lift in the rankings. He is currently No 18 in the world, having fallen from a career-high position of No 8 earlier this summer. Murray does not have many ranking points to defend in the next few weeks and will be hoping in particular to be in the world's top 16 in time for the Australian Open in January, which would ensure he would not meet any of the top players in the first three rounds.

The Kremlin Cup in Moscow offers $1m in prize money, more than double what was available in Metz, although the field is not as strong as it has been in the past. Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny are the top two seeds, with Marat Safin also a strong contender.

In the first round Murray plays another Russian, 19-year-old Evgeny Korolev, who is ranked No 86 in the world and shares the same agent as the Scot in Patricio Apey. The winner will meet Sergio Roitman or Tipsarevic.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory