Tennis

Murray 
crashes out 
in first round

Andy Murray admits he will have to improve dramatically to retain his Wimbledon title after the world No. 1 suffered an embarrassing Queen's Club exit.

Murray crashed to one of the worst defeats of his glittering career yesterday morning (Singapore time), as Australian world No. 90 Jordan Thompson ended his reign as Queen's champion with an astonishing 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 first-round victory.

To rub salt into Murray's wound, Thompson, originally beaten in the qualifying rounds, was playing only as a last-minute replacement for the injured Aljaz Bedene.

It was the worst possible preparation for Wimbledon, with the grass-court Grand Slam starting on July 3.

Having reached the French Open semi-finals earlier this month, Murray must have hoped he was back on track after his poor run during an injury-plagued first half of the season.

But, instead the three-time Grand Slam winner plans to return to the practice courts with coach Ivan Lendl in a last-ditch bid to find a solution to his struggles.

WORK

"I said before the tournament there was still a lot of work to be done, and after the French Open I knew that I was still quite far from where I needed to be," Murray said.

"One tournament doesn't change all of what had gone on just beforehand.

"So that's why I got back on the practice court quite soon after the French.

"But I was certainly feeling better in the build-up here than I was going into the French. I would have expected to have played and done a bit better."

Murray has now failed to get past the second round in three of his last four tournaments and has lost before the quarter-finals six times this year.

It is a remarkable crisis for a player who just eight months ago was sitting on top of the world after a golden year that including titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the ATP Tour Finals. - AFP

ANDY MURRAYWimbledon