‘Making the second round of grand slams is not motivating’: Frustrated Andy Murray plans to return to the Australian Open only if he improves this year after ‘tough loss’ to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in straight sets
- Andy Murray crashed out of the second round to World No 120 Taro Daniel
- It was the first time he has lost to someone ranked outside the top 100 at a Slam
- Murray says he will need to improve if he is to return to the Australian Open
Andy Murray has stated that he would like to return to the Australian Open despite crashing out at the second round to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.
The 34-year-old lost in straight sets to the world No 120 – the first time the Scotsman has lost to someone ranked outside the top 100 at a Grand Slam.
Murray struggled for sharpness against his tenacious opponent in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat.
Andy Murray crashed out of the Australian Open to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel on Thursday
When asked if he planned to return to the Australian Open in the future, Murray responded: ‘I mean, yeah. But not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.
‘This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons and I want to perform well in the big events. For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect.
‘Making second rounds of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that. It depends on how I get on this year results wise and how I perform in the big events.’
Hopes were high for Murray to have a strong run in Melbourne after he battled to a hard-fought five-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili in round one, three years after it appeared his career had ended on the same court.
It was the first time that Murray has lost to someone outside the top 100 at a Grand Slam
Murray was unable to hit through his opponent during the opening set and, although he retrieved an early break, Daniel quickly secured another one.
Four break points came and went in the second game of the second set – Murray took only two of 11 in the match – and again it was Daniel that came up with the answers at the big moments.
Murray did finally move ahead early in the third but surrendered his advantage straight away and the end was nigh when Daniel broke to lead 5-4.
Murray says he will look to return to the Australian Open only if he performs much better
He then received a warning for slamming his racket angrily to the court as Daniel clinched his second match point to move through to the third round of a slam for the first time.
Murray said:’ I’m really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. A tough loss for me that’s for sure.’
He added: ‘I felt alright physically. I pulled up pretty well [after the Basilashvili match] so I was pleased from that perspective. I just made way too many errors on the court.’
Murray also confirmed that he plans to go home for some time off before returning to play in Doha and Dubai.