Murray upbeat despite defeat



Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:32

The British number one was bidding to become only the second British man in the Open era, after Tim Henman, to reach the last four at Roland Garros but he ran out of steam in losing 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-4 to big-hitting Gonzalez, the 12th seed.

“It’s not like after a match like this I’m going to get down about it,” he said. “I’ve won a lot of matches, probably double the amount of matches that I had won in my life on clay before this stretch.”

Indeed Murray has come on leaps and bounds on the dirt over the past three months and he refused to be downcast after defeat in only his third grand-slam quarter-final.

“It’s been a very good one (clay season) for me, a lot better than previous years,” said the 22-year-old.

“I’ll just go and improve and work on some things in the next week or so, and hopefully play well on grass.”

Murray, the third seed, saw his half of the draw at Roland Garros open up as a result of top seed and reigning champion Rafael Nadal’s shock defeat to Robin Soderling on Sunday. But he could not capitalise, Gonzalez’s greater clay-court nous coming through in the end on Philippe Chatrier court.

The Chilean’s booming forehand was the difference. He hit 45 winners over the four sets, some of them coming from outrageous angles that left Murray chasing shadows at times. The Briton admitted he was left punch-drunk by his practice partner’s renowned weapon.

“No-one’s hit the ball that big. If that happens, sometimes you’ve got to say, ‘too good’,” the Scot said.

“If you look at some of the shots he’s hit, he’s hitting forehands from a metre wide of the tramlines on some points – and hitting winners off them. Even if you try to hit a ball to his backhand, he runs around and spanks a winner. You can’t do a whole lot about that.”


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