Murray wins first set on big-time debut before nerves take their toll

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The Independent Online

Andrew Murray showed plenty of potential, but nerves proved too much as the Briton went down 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Czech Jan Hernych in the first round of the Seat Open here yesterday.

Andrew Murray showed plenty of potential, but nerves proved too much as the Briton went down 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Czech Jan Hernych in the first round of the Seat Open here yesterday.

The 17-year-old wildcard started confidently and his three break points in the first game were a sign of what was to come.

Playing a nice array of shots, he broke Hernych to go 3-2 up and then broke again to win the opening set. However, Murray then lost his serve in the opening game of the second set and, although he fought back to level 4-4, a second lapse of concentration allowed Hernych to break again and close out the set.

The Scotsman, who is based in Barcelona, was playing better tennis but making unforced errors, which cost him on key points.

Despite suffering cramp, Murray continued to find the edges with powerful drives to go 3-1 up in the deciding set, but he immediately lost his serve with Hernych then breaking again to take the set and the match.

Murray's coach Pato Alvares, who trained Ilie Nastase during the 1970s, maintained that he was pleased with Murray's performance despite the result. "This is his first main serious competition at this level and he had about 10 or 11 break points," Alvares said.

"The only problem was nerves, he just needs to play more and have the mentality to believe he can win, which he will develop over the next year."

Alvares is also confident Murray, based in Barcelona since last year, has more to give. "When he arrived here, he was used to a different style and so was making many mistakes," he continued. "But he has now got over this. I think he can be one of the best, he is a very good player and I have a lot of belief in him."

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