Andy Murray has issued a passionate defence of his legacy in tennis as his horrific form on the ATP Tour continued with a first-round exit on Tuesday.
The two-time Wimbledon champion lost in straight sets to Czech world No.66 Tomas Machac in Marseille, marking his ninth defeat across his last 10 matches.
British hero Murray, currently ranked world No.49, is yet to produce a win in 2024 following losses to Grigor Dimitrov, Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Benoit Paire in Brisbane, Melbourne and Montpellier.
The 36-year-old former world No.1 plays with a metal hip after career-saving surgery and recently slammed a reporter over claims he was tarnishing his legacy.
Speaking after his latest nightmare result, Murray says that ‘no number of defeats’ will change what he has achieved in the sport – and has also revealed plans to drop down to the ATP Challenger Tour – where he won three titles last year.
‘The only way to find solutions [is] to win matches,’ Murray said. ‘It can also be played out in training, working on your game and sensations.
‘But what happens in training doesn’t always translate into a match. In 2016, when I finished world No 1, my coach told me that I had maybe won two or three training sets during the whole year.
‘This year, I won almost all of them and I can’t win a single match. You have to perform in competition, that’s the only thing that counts.
‘Maybe I will have to play in Challengers. The easiest thing for me would have been to leave my career. But I continue because I love the game, I love to train.
‘At the moment, without a doubt, it is not easy to compete. But what is happening now does not affect my career.
‘No number of defeats will change what I achieved when I was in shape and with two hips. But when you can’t win, you also lose confidence. I’ve never experienced that in my career.
‘In Beijing and [Paris] last year, I lost two matches against [Alex] de Minaur while serving for the match, with match points. This happened over the last three months.
‘It only happens very rarely to lose in these conditions. But he is top 10 and I lost narrowly, like against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas or [Tommy] Paul. I can be competitive.’