Andy Murray’s bid to win a tournament on British soil for the first time since 2016 was dashed in the Surbiton Trophy semi-final. Murray had not won at home since winning the ATP Finals six years ago, and the wait will continue after he was defeated by American Denis Kudla 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3. The Scot, who skipped the French Open to prepare for the short grass season, got off to a strong start against the big-serving American, winning the first set. He had led 4-1 but had been pinned, only to break at the key moment to take the game 7-5.
The second set was again served and decided by a tie-break, which Kudla, who is ranked 81st in the world, won. Murray had to save five break points in the second game of the fourth set, but he couldn’t hold off Kudla for long, as the American broke at 3-2 and went on to win the match in blustery circumstances that proved tough for both players. Murray had a nice week of grass court practise before heading to Germany to compete in the Stuttgart Open before returning to London to play at Queen’s in preparation for another season.
“It’s tough to read too much into how I played,” said the former world No 1. “I competed pretty well for the first couple of sets, third set not as well as I would have liked. It was brutal conditions for both of us today, there was not loads of amazing tennis. We were using different skills out there and trying to find ways to put the ball in difficult positions for the opponent. Denis did a better job of that.”
“I played some good matches this week. Today I’m not concerned about how I played. You can’t expect to play your best tennis when it’s like that. Overall it was good to get four matches, I would’ve liked to have won the tournament, but that wasn’t to be. I just want to keep improving week on week and match on match,” the Scot added.