Andy Murray has won pretty much everything there is to win in the game, but the world No 1 has yet to shine in the California Sun at Indian Wells. Can this finally be his year?
A quarter-finalist in 2010 and 2013, semi-finalist in 2007 and 2015, and runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2009, Murray has failed to make an impression on the hard courts that suit his game so well.
Perennial losing finalist at the Australian Open year after year, lack of early season success and a man generally low on confidence, Britain’s finest has failed to live up to expectations, suffering a drought in the desert.
Could this finally be his moment? Murray heads to Indian Wells brimming with confidence after winning his first tournament of the year in Dubai. He has now reached the final in 14 of his past 16 tournaments, including seven of his past eight. But he will be wary of past performances…
2016 – Third Round
Murray suffered a third-round defeat to Argentine left-hander Federico Delbonis, losing 6-4 4-6 7-6 [7-3]. “Obviously it takes time to get used to new conditions regardless of where it is, but I have just never really found a way to get comfortable here throughout my career. It’s a shame,” said Murray after his loss.
2015 – Semi-finals
The Scot was outplayed by Novak Djokovic as he suffered a straightforward 6-2 6-3 defeat in 88 minutes. “There’s a reason why he’s number one in the world… it’s not always just about me,” he said.
2014 – Round of 16
His hesitant campaign ended after a fourth-round defeat to 10th seed Milos Raonic, 4-6 7-5 6-3, and it seemed Murray was still undercooked after undergoing back surgery six months earlier. “It shouldn’t really be down to not playing enough matches. I feel like I’ve played enough,” he said. “Right now I’m not pulling up after matches stiff or sore or anything like that. So I think I’m match fit, match tight.”
2013 – Quarter-finals
Juan Martin del Potro inflicted a three-set quarter-final defeat on Murray 6-7 [5-7] 6-3 6-1 as the giant Argentine did not drop serve once.
2012 – Round of 64
Murray suffered another agonising defeat – this time to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his opening match, 6-4 6-2, and afterwards the Briton admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure why it happened.
2011 – Round of 64
A surprise first-round defeat to American qualifier Donald Young, who began the week ranked 143rd in the world. “I just didn’t do anything particularly well,” Murray said after his 7-6 [7-4] 6-3 slump.
2010 – Quarter-finals
Former two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling put the British No 1 to the sword with a 6-1 7-6 [7-4] victory. “I was hitting the ball really short, and he’s obviously got a big game and he was able to dictate all of the points,” admitted Murray.
2009 – Final
Murray produced a fine 6-3 4-6 6-1 victory over Roger Federer to reach the final, but was unable to reproduce his form in the final against Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard ran out an easy winner for the loss of just three games on a wind-swept stadium court.
“You don’t necessarily want to be doing a whole lot of defending and running. You want to be in the best position possible to hit each ball, and I wasn’t. That’s why he managed to dictate most of the points,” Murray said.
2008 – Round of 16
A tired looking Murray threw away a one-set lead against Germany’s Tommy Haas to crash out of the tournament, losing 2-6 7-5 6-3.
2007 – Semi-finals
In a battle of the teenagers, Murray was humbled 6-1 6-0 as the red-hot Serb Novak Djokovic subdued his opponent. “It’s the worst match I’ve probably played since I’ve been on the Tour,” bemoaned the 19-year-old Murray.
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