Murray says emotional farewell to his Miami 'tennis home'

Murray says emotional farewell to his Miami 'tennis home'


Andy Murray exited the Miami Open for the final time on Sunday.

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

MIAMI (AFP) – Andy Murray exited the Miami Open for the final time on Sunday and in characteristic style he did so with a performance full of grit and skill but also plenty of passion.

The emotion of the game itself, a missed chance for a third straight win in a tournament for the first time in over a year, was enhanced by Murray knowing this week was his final appearance in a city he calls his "tennis home".

The two-times Miami winner who will be 37 in May, lost out in a thrilling third set tie-break to Czech Tomas Machac, managing to battle on after receiving treatment for an ankle injury.

The Scotsman had saved match point in the third before forcing a tie-break, which he led 5-3 before Machac delivered some killer blows to win 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5)

It had been three hours and 28 minutes of enthralling tennis, arguably the most entertaining of the tournament so far, albeit strangely on the third level, Butch Buchholz court.

"Obviously a disappointing finish for me but brilliant crowd, brilliant atmosphere, very tight match," said Murray.

"I was obviously a couple of points away from finishing it and to be fair to him he came out with some big shots, played high risk tennis and that paid off for him today," the Briton said.

Murray's injury, late in the third set, saw him hop off the court in agony with what at first looked to be a possible Achilles tendon injury but later turned out to be merely a very painful ankle sprain.

But having come through major hip surgery to extend his career, Murray was able to appreciate the value of his performance and his earlier round wins over Italian Matteo Berrettini and Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

"It's been pretty positive, there were some good signs in my game, definitely an improvement on the last few tournaments, not perfect but considering everything to be winning matches against the players I did and pushing Thomas like I did today, I'm proud of myself because it's extremely difficult to do what I'm doing with the issue that I have.

"To still be able to compete with these guys is a credit to myself and the work that I've done and the effort that I've put into this to keep myself in this position," he said.


Murray has for years done the bulk of his off-season training in Miami and says he has developed a genuine fondness for the area.

“Miami has been a special place for me during my career. It’s been my tennis home really. I’ve done so much of my work and training and preparation here. I love the city," he said.

Before leaving the court, he showed his appreciation to a crowd that had willed him on, chanting and cheering for him throughout the long battle with Machac.

"The support was brilliant, they've got obviously Americans in the crowd, there's Brits in the crowd, a lot of Latin Americans as well here who love their tennis and have always given me really great support here," he said.

"So was a bit more emotional leaving the court today than I might be at some of the other events," he said.

Handling farewells is something that Murray knows will await him throughout the rest of the season as he heads towards his expected retirement later this year.

"I'm looking forward to the end now and just give my best the next few months and then get to be at home with my family and I'm looking forward to that," he said.