Andy Murray booed by crowd at Paris Masters for smashing his racket

Andy Murray admits he’s ‘not enjoying’ his tennis after Scot was booed by crowd at Paris Masters for smashing his racket during painful defeat against Alex de Minaur

  • Andy Murray smashed his racket in frustration after defeat at Paris Masters 
  • The Scot he failed to close out a lead of 5-2 in the third set on Monday 
  • It was the fourth time he had been beaten by Alex de Minaur this year 

Andy Murray admitted that he has lost his enjoyment of tennis after going down to the most painful defeat of a difficult season.

The 36 year-old Scot was booed by the Bercy crowd as he repeatedly smashed his racket in the wake of another loss to Australian Alex de Minaur. For the second time this month he somehow managed rescue a lost cause against the twice Wimbledon champion.

Once again it was agonising to watch as, replaying what happened in Shanghai versus the same opponent, a 5-2 lead in the decider was reduced to defeat. This first round meeting at the Paris Masters was to see the British player go down 7-6 4-6 7-5 with one match point slipping by.

Murray is only too aware that him closing these out used to be as routine as shutting the kitchen door, and the shock was etched on his face afterwards as he reflected on the latest setback. He could not remember ever ending a match being broken three consecutive times, as had just happened.

‘It’s frustrating. I’m not really enjoying it just now in terms of how I feel on the court and how I’m playing,’ he admitted. ‘ The last five, six months haven’t been that enjoyable, so I need to try and find some of that enjoyment back because playing a match like that there’s not much positivity there.

Andy Murray smashed his racket in frustration after losing to Alex de Minaur at Paris Masters

The Scot was beaten by Australian No 1 Alex de Minaur for the fourth time this year

‘When I play a good point, I’m not really getting behind myself. In the important moments that will to win and fight that has always been a big part of my game. What happened today, I don’t remember it happening before, that’s not really me.

‘The way that I’m feeling and playing on the court – I haven’t felt good about my game for large parts of this year. You obviously want to be seeing progress and feeling like you’re getting closer to something and I haven’t really felt like that. There were a few small signs in the summer over in the States but certainly nothing that’s been sustainable or consistent.’

There is an inescapable sense of the sun setting on an outstanding career, which has been elongated by him defying science and playing on with a metal hip. Had he contemplated whether all the sacrifices are worth it?

‘The last few months it’s been more like that. I hadn’t really felt like that up until the last few months,’ conceded Murray. ‘Sometimes you play really well in practice and it doesn’t necessarily translate onto the match court, but you at least feel like you’re getting somewhere. Whereas for the most part in practice it’s not been great. A lot of frustration there in training, and that’s kind of carrying over into the matches.

‘If I want to keep going, I’m going to need a lot of work. It’s not just going to be like one or two weeks of training to get me to where I need to get to, it’s going to have to be a lot of work and consistent work to give myself a chance.’

Murray was watched by Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith, who is assessing his options for the quarter final match versus Serbia in the finals week in late November. Murray, who was due to play an event in Metz next week, has been named in the squad.

De Minaur turned the set around to close out another hard-earned victory on Monday

‘Right now I’m not in the best frame of mind to make a decision. Probably take a few days and make that call slightly later in the week and then see what happens with Davis Cup.’

Since reaching the final of the Qatar Open in February Murray has gone 9-14 in matches on the main tour, but won three Challenger level titles.

Victory over de Minaur in the year’s last significant regular tour event would have been a major boost, and Murray created three set points in the opener against serve, plus a match point at 5-4 in the third, only to shank a forehand long. As he pointed out, he is still working hard and had nearly beaten the world number 13 while barely getting a free point on his own serve.

This will only add to his sense of frustration, and to the questions he is asking himself about whether sacrifices are all worth it. The answer, increasingly, looks like it may come at some point next season.

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