ANGRY Andy Murray smashed a racket beyond repair and slammed his display on-court as his European odyssey ended.
After playing in consecutive tournaments in Italy and France, the Scot departed Holland last night following a 7-5 6-2 defeat to world No.8 Andrey Rublev.
Andy Murray smashed his racket during his 7-5 6-2 loss to Andrey RublevCredit: EPA
The Scot received a code violation for the outburstCredit: AFP
Though there were positives he could take away from this – notably his improved movement – the former world No.1 was humbled by relentless Rublev in the second round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Muzza produced two double faults in the 11th game of the first set.
And then received a code violation from the umpire when he mangled his racket on the ground in a rage.
The 33-year-old kept moaning as the match slipped away from him in the second set, muttering under his breath he was ‘so underprepared for this’ and then telling his coach Jamie Delgado he was being ‘very quiet’.
This was his second defeat out of three matches against top-10 players since the 2017 French Open final but it has not dented his hopes of making a full recovery and return to the circuit following hip surgery more than two years ago.
Murray is now set to return home and plot his year on clay and grass as he targets a return to Wimbledon this summer after a four-year absence.
Murray, who is considering playing in Dubai and Miami later this month, said: “When it mattered I didn’t play well. The service game I lost wasn’t good enough.
“Against one of the best players in the world, if they produce something great, then it’s understandable. But I felt at the end of the first set I blew it.
Murray was heard muttering ‘I’m so underprepared’Credit: EPA
Russian Rublev won in straight setsCredit: EPA
“I messed up a little bit. The second set he was much better than me. I am disappointed. At times, it wasn’t good enough.
“I am not used to making those errors in those moments.
“I am finding that frustrating and mentally I am looking back at those moments too much, which maybe affected me in the second set.
“I probably should have won the first set.”
Meanwhile, the ATP has thanked Player Council members Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal for backing a financial package to help lower-ranked stars during the Covid-19 crisis.
Prize money for events between now and Wimbledon will be increased.
ATP 250 and 500 events will see minimum prize money levels “raised to 80% and 60% respectively from 50%”.
The extra £3.73m has come from the ATP Bonus Pool normally awarded to the top 12 players at the end of the season.
Elsewhere, players can have hotel costs covered if they are forced to quarantine or self-isolate following a positive test for coronavirus.
And stars forced out of competition for a month or more can apply for a Covid-19 Protected Ranking.
Murray is one of the most popular and well-known tennis stars in the world – yet he has significantly reduced his presence on social media platforms in recent years.
The former world No.1 has an enormous global reach at the touch of a button – 3.5million followers on Twitter, 1.7milllion on Instagram and 3.6milllion on his official Facebook account.
Over the past few months he has become aware of messages from nasty trolls suggesting he should quit tennis for good.
The Scot has not come off social media entirely, his accounts still remain active, and he will continue to post messages.
But he says watching the Netflix show The Social Dilemma opened his eyes to the dangers of obsessive social networking in the 21st Century.