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Murray: I won’t stop playing despite difficult year

Andy Murray insists there is more to come from him despite a “difficult” start to 2024, in which he has yet to win a competitive match.

Recent back-to-back exits in ATP 250 tournaments in Marseille and Montpellier have led to criticism of the 36-year-old, and Murray spoke to Sky Sports on his struggles and how he is looking to learn from this experience and turnaround his form.

“Tennis-wise it hasn’t been a great start to the year. I’ve never experienced a period like this as a professional. It’s been difficult, a new experience for me (which) is not the nicest, but good to experience new things and try and learn from them,” said Murray, who returns to action this week at the Qatar Open.

“When I do get myself out of it and start to feel better, hopefully I’ll be stronger for it, but it’s been hard. I’ve not been playing well and winning as many matches as I would like, so I’m hoping I can turn it around here.”

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Andy Murray admits he’s been going through a difficult period, but insists he wants to keep playing and has no intention of giving up the sport any time soon

When asked whether it was a mental or physical barrier that was behind his inability to showcase his best tennis, Murray said: “It’s probably a combination of the two. Physically I’m not expecting to feel how I did when I was 20, so it’s hard when you get to your mid to late 30s to stay at the level required to beat the best players.

“Certainly, tennis-wise I know I can play a lot better than I have been. “

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Highlights of Andy Murray’s round of 32 defeat to Tomas Machac at Open 13

Murray has said that his preparation for tournaments has been good but he has not been able to find the same rhythm on the match court, but is confident that he can find his best tennis in the near future.

“I’ve never really experienced playing really well in practice and not being able to translate it to a match court before, it was always the opposite for me,” said the former world No 1.

“I was never a great practice player, I didn’t use to win practice matches, exhibition matches, it’s been the complete opposite for me recently. I know there’s better tennis in me than I’m showing just now, but I’m hoping I can turn it around.”

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Andy Murray ran out of challenges and was left enraged with the umpire after a close call didn’t go his way, ultimately costing him the match against Benoit Paire

While there has been lots of speculation about his future, Murray reiterated his intentions to keep playing and will not be influenced by opinions around him.

“When I was in my early 20s, I would have mainly young fans that would come up to you and ask for autographs, now I get more older people, who’s bodies are falling apart,” said Murray.

“They are kind of like ‘it’s great that you keep going it’s inspired me to get out and keep training’, so the demographic has changed a little bit.

“But it’s nice, I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to do what fans, journalists or anyone is telling me to do. Qualifying for all these tournaments on my right, on my ranking and all the matches that I’ve won, I want to keep playing just now, so I’m not going to stop.”

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