Murray beaten by Pospisil
Originally published on 12/03/17 00:00
Andy Murray’s struggles at Indian Wells go on. For the third time in the last seven years Murray failed to win a match at the BNP Paribas Open as Canada’s Vasek Pospisil beat him 6-4, 7-6(5).
Indian Wells and Monte Carlo are the only Masters 1000 tournaments Murray has never won and the world No 1 was at a loss to explain his latest setback in the Californian desert as Pospisil recorded the biggest win of his career.
“I have never really practised playing against serve-and-volleyers,” Murray told the ATP’s official website. “But when I have come up against them, it’s normally been a game style I have enjoyed playing against.
“Today it wasn’t so much the serve-volley that was the problem. It was my own serve, not getting enough opportunities when he was serving. I think that was more the problem tonight.”
While Murray will retain his position at the top of the world rankings at the end of the tournament, Indian Wells had been an opportunity to extend his lead over Novak Djokovic. While the Serb is the defending champion, Murray won only one match at the tournament last year, which had given him plenty of scope to gain ranking points this week.
Pospisil, who now meets Dusan Lajovic, reached No 25 in the rankings three years ago but a combination of injuries and loss of form have seen the 26-year-old Canadian drop out of the top 100. However, Pospisil hopes that the appointment of Mark Woodforde as his coach at the end of last year will turn his career around.
“I feel like on a comeback trail,” the world No 129 said. “I had a tough year last year for many, many different reasons. I feel the last couple months I really found my hunger and my motivation to be back on the court training hard again.”
Gael Monfils recovered from a slow start against another qualifier, Darian King of Barbados, to win 3-6 6-0 6-1 victory. Monfils now faces John Isner, who beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(0) 7-6 (6).
Angelique Kerber, who will return to the top of the world rankings on Monday, beat her fellow German, Andrea Petkovic, in just 58 minutes. Simona Halep, the 2015 champion, beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-1, while Venus Williams struggled before overcoming Jelena Jankovic 1-6 7-6(5) 6-1.