Andy Murray plans to make changes with his team after crashing out of the Citi Open in the first round on Monday night. The Scotsman complained of cramps following his defeat to Mikael Ymer, which may not bode well in his preparations for the US Open later this month.
Murray and Ymer contested a thrilling match in Washington D.C., with the latter saving four set points to claim a marathon first set. The Swede was in full control and raced into a commanding lead in the second, but signs of his own physical discomfort allowed Murray back into the match.
Ymer, 23, who has never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam, shook off those issues by the time the third set got underway and he clinched the match 7-6 4-6 6-1. The nature of the defeat may spark a rethink from Murray and his team, with the 35-year-old regularly cramping up in the humid conditions.
“It was disappointing obviously,” admitted Murray. “I thought there was some good tennis in the first set. After that both of us were struggling a bit physically. The level of the tennis was not great.
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“Obviously I had chances in the first set to close that out. I had set point in 6-5, then three in the tie-break, and didn’t get it. I think he seemed like maybe he was cramping a little bit in the second set, but recovered absolutely fine after the break at the end of the set. He went off to change and cool off a little bit, and he recovered well for the third, whereas I didn’t really.
“Yeah, just frustrating. Actually in Newport I cramped right at the end of one of my matches there. Really hot and humid. Usually I quite enjoy playing in those conditions. I’ve struggled a little bit the past two tournaments with that. I need to have a little look at that with my team and maybe see why that is, make a few changes.”
Despite the inevitable knock in confidence, Murray has not ruled out the prospect of being seeded at Flushing Meadows later this month. The three-time Grand Slam winner, who opened his account with the US Open in 2012, is due to compete at the National Bank Open and the Western & Southern Open between now and then.
“It’s still possible [to get seeded],” he claimed. “I would just need to have a good run in Canada or Cincinnati really. It’s pretty straightforward. If I was to make a quarter-final or semi-final there which, right now, doesn’t seem realistic after a loss like that. But I do feel like if I play very well that I could do that. I’ll certainly need to play better than I did today.”
Fellow Brit Emma Raducanu didn’t fare much better as she made her professional doubles debut in Washington D.C. alongside Danish youngster Clara Tauson. The teenage duo lost in straight sets to the experienced pairing of Monica Niculescu and Lucie Hradecka.
Her singles campaign at the Citi Open is due to get underway in the early hours of Wednesday morning (BST) against American Louisa Chirico. Raducanu’s opponent is currently ranked outside the world’s top 200.