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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 3, 2020

 
Andy Murray

The Scot fell 7-5, 6-2 to Andrey Rublev but is taking the positives from his defeat.

Photo Source: AP

Andy Murray had his chances – and lamented them – in the opening set of his 7-5, 6-2 loss to Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam, but he didn’t take them and paid the price against one of the tour’s hottest players.

Tennis Express

But that’s okay, Murray says. The Scot, currently ranked 123, says that he was happy to have the test of facing Rublev and he doesn’t mind admitting that he was bad when he needed to be good during Wednesday’s meeting with the No.4 seed.

"From the positive side, I thought I moved well, for the first hour or so,” Murray said. “He's one of the bigger hitters on the tour and in the first set I didn't feel like he was getting too many free points from the back of the court and he was having to work hard to get the ball through me.”

Murray says he can take away some harsh lessons from the way he frittered away some good chances in an opening set that he found to be a positive experience. Well, at least until it wasn’t.

“I did some things quite well in the first set but when it mattered I didn't play well,” Murray said. “I lost my serve from 30-0 love up, I hit two double-faults and a bad forehand, which to me is just not good enough."

Murray says it won’t cut the mustard to have lapses against a player as lethal as Rublev.

"When you are playing one of the best players in the world, in those moments, if they come up with something great to win those points, you come off and you expect that, but I felt in that moment, at the end of the first set that I blew it a bit,” Murray said. “I had 15-40 in the next game to break back and I think I messed up a little bit there as well to be honest."

The former World No.1 will go back to the drawing board. He plans to play Dubai and Miami before the clay season starts, and he believes that he can keep progressing and improving provided that he stays healthy.

Rublev advances to the quarterfinals and will face either David Goffin or Jeremy Chardy.

Nishikori new serve?

Kei Nishikori engineered a three-set win over Alex de Minaur to reach the quarterfinals, and the Japanese star is sporting a new serve motion. Nishikori says he has changed it up in order to preserve the health of his shoulder.

He was asked about it in press.

“I don't feel 100 percent yet, but I think it's on the way, I was hitting good serves last two matches, today and first round, so I'm happy with serves now,” Nishikori said, explaining: "I wasn't 100 percent sure but I was talking to the coaches and kind of sure that my serve was damaging my shoulder a little bit, with my last [service motion], that's why I started to look it up a little more, because of my history of injury, I felt like I still needed to change something if I had time and if I had chance, so I'm really open to anything, of course. It's not easy, it's going to take some time and I still feel like it's not there yet, but because for my body I will do anything that makes better."

 

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