ATP

Murray welcomes nerves as Indian Wells draw 'opens up slightly'

By Sports Desk March 12, 2023

Andy Murray acknowledged he produced a nervous performance against Radu Albot on Saturday but suggested it was due to the pressure of a kind Indian Wells Masters draw.

Murray had been due to play Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round in California, only for the 15th seed to pull out with injury.

The three-time major champion instead defeated Albot in 6-4 6-3 for his first straight-sets victory of the season.

That sets Murray up to play fellow Briton Jack Draper in round three ahead of a potential round-four meeting with top seed Carlos Alcaraz, the best player in the draw after Novak Djokovic was unable to enter.

Murray was in complete control against Albot but played with nerves, explaining: "I didn't know if it was because of [the change of opponent].

"I was trying to give reasons for why I may have felt that way. I felt nervous on the court.

"A lot of the way that Radu plays and Carreno Busta plays is not too dissimilar, in terms of the way they like to play points and maybe where and how they like to serve.

"Obviously there are differences in their games, but it wasn't a huge change in terms of my game plan or what I was expecting going into the match.

"But maybe I felt like it was a good opportunity for me and that the draw had opened up slightly. I obviously wanted to try to finish the match quickly."

Yet those nerves are not a problem for Murray, who says he would rather play under that pressure.

"I generally much prefer feeling nervous when I play matches and feeling pressure," he said. "It just felt a bit out of sync with the situation. I was in, I guess, pretty decent control of the match.

"I was serving well, I was hitting the ball pretty well, but there was just more tension than probably there should have been out there on the court.

"But usually I prefer to feel nerves, providing they are in check. And maybe they weren't, for whatever reason.

"I would way rather feel more tension than feel flat, which is really never a good sign for me. If I wake up and I don't feel any of the butterflies or anything like that, it's generally a bad sign."

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