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Andy Murray thrashed in Monte Carlo Masters first round by Alex de Minaur

The Brit had a day to forget back on the clay in Monte Carlo, making 26 unforced errors in a straight-sets loss

Kieran Jackson
Monday 10 April 2023 16:43 BST
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Andy Murray Denied Toilet Break During Five-Set Marathon

A lacklustre Andy Murray was soundly beaten by Alex de Minaur in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

His first match on clay in 2023, Murray never got going in the principality and hit a mammoth 26 unforced errors on Court Rainier III.

De Minaur was efficient in his work, but three-time Grand Slam winner Murray produced a very below-par performance, at one point seemingly apologising to the crowd for a poor drop-shot, with a comeback so typical of Murray this season never on the cards here.

Murray is yet to confirm when he will next be in action. It could be as early as next week in Barcelona or Munich, with the next Masters 1000 event in Madrid in two weeks’ time.

From the off, in Murray’s first appearance in Monte Carlo since 2017, the former World No 1 failed to find his range. He was broken in the opening game and De Minaur oozed control and confidence, while Murray looked jiggery as he struggled to move freely on the clay.

It took until game five for Murray to get on the scoreboard, but by that point the set was irretrievable as De Minaur, 11 years his junior, claimed the opening set 6-1.

Having made 15 unforced errors in the opener it was clear where Murray needed to improve but the 35-year-old’s groundstrokes, particularly his forehand, continued to go awry.

Andy Murray had a day to forget in Monte Carlo on his return to clay (Getty Images)

A brief confrontation with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, over Murray’s hat falling off mid-point, was the sort of scenario which would have usually spurred the Brit on – but instead the momentum continued to swing in De Minaur’s favour.

Murray was broken for 3-1 and a face of frustration towards his player box, with mum Judy watching on, was a common theme throughout his time on court.

He scampered to force De Minaur to serve out the match at 5-3 – but the Aussie still had too much in the long exchanges, coming through in one hour and 26 minutes and remaining unbeaten against Murray in three matches against the former World No 1.

De Minaur will face German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff in round two.

Earlier on Monday, British No 1 Cameron Norrie lost in straight-sets to Francisco Cerundolo but Jack Draper did triumph over Sebastian Baez.

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