Andy Murray reckons that his contemporaries Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic haven't had a drop-off in their on-court movement in the last few years after he lost to Matteo Berrettini in the US Open third round on Friday.
Murray, who triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2012, returned to the US Open third round for the first time in six years. However, the former World No. 1 found the going tough against Berrettini, the 2019 semifinalist, as he fell two sets behind.
The Brit fought back to force a fourth, where he went up a break. However, the Italian reclaimed control of proceedings to reach the second week for the fourth straight year.
In his press conference after his defeat to Berrettini, Murray said that unlike Nadal and Djokovic, his movement and reach have dwindled in the last few years. That has especially been the case since the 35-year-old underwent a hip replacement in 2018.
"I think if you watch Rafa and Novak moving around the court now, who are similar age, I think they're moving pretty similar to how they were five, six years ago, whereas for me there's obviously been a bit of a drop-off there," said Murray.
The Scot added that his reduced movement has had an impact on his performances, saying:
"That can affect you in terms of how you have to play the points. Maybe you just don't track as many balls down as before. Maybe the reach isn't just quite as much as it was."
While Djokovic, 35, is not in New York this fortnight, the 36-year-old Nadal will play Richard Gasquet on Saturday for a place in the second week.
"I served pretty poorly for a large part of the match, which hurt me a lot" - Andy Murray
Andy Murray had no qualms admitting that he served poorly throughout the match, which eventually led to his undoing. To exacerbate his woes, Berrettini was nearly impenetrable on serve, sending down 18 aces and not allowing his opponent too many look-ins in his service games.
"I served pretty poorly for a large part of the match, which hurt me a lot," rued Andy Murray. "I mean, it's always tough down one end at that time of day. So from one end probably understandable, but, you know, I just couldn't find any rhythm on serve. He served extremely well, got loads of free points on his serve. I didn't. That was the difference."
Berrettini will now play Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a place in the last eight.
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