Andy Murray eyeing ‘crazy’ Doha repeat as struggling Brit looks to dig himself out of hole | Tennis | Sport

Andy Murray will be back in Doha a year after he finished as the runner-up. He went on an incredible run that saw him save eight match points en route to the final. The world No. 50 is winless so far in 2024 but he has been able to dig himself out of a poor run of form before, something he touched on during last year’s Qatar Open. After a “crazy start to the year” in 2023, Murray will be hoping that he can reverse his fortunes in Doha again after the memories of his heroic efforts.

Murray will be back in action at the upcoming ATP 250 event in Doha as he seeks his first win of the season. The Brit is 1-9 in his last 10 matches, with his most recent victory coming in October. But he found himself in a similar situation at the end of 2022 before turning things around in Australia and Qatar, and could well do the same over the coming week.

12 months ago, the former world No. 1 reached the final after coming from a set down in his first four matches, saving three match points against Lorenzo Sonego in the opening round and five against Jiri Lehecka in the semi-final. He was thwarted by Daniil Medvedev in the championship match but left feeling confident after a spell of losing tight matches.

“That’s one of the great things about the scoring system in this sport is things can change very quickly. I had multiple conversations with my team in the middle to the end part of last year, and I lost lots of close matches,” the three-time Major champion said last year after beating Lehecka.

“You know, whether that was in Cincinnati or the US Open or in Gijon, in Paris. You know, it happened in the final of Stuttgart, semi-finals in Surbiton. I had many matches where I was in good positions and couldn’t win last year.” Murray had also won some epics at the Australian Open, saving a match point against Matteo Berrettini and coming from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis.

But Doha was where he really proved that he had nine lives. The Brit knew that he would be fine once he got some wins under his belt, and that will likely be the same this time around as he finds himself on a six-match losing streak. “I said, As soon as I start winning some, that that’s going to change quickly because of the law of averages,” he explained at the 2023 Qatar Open.

“Like I couldn’t keep losing that many matches. If I kept working hard and kept improving just a little bit, then those matches would change.” It seems that it will be a similar scenario this time around. Murray’s ability is there but his recent string of losses haven’t helped his confidence and one win could break the floodgates for the world No. 50.

Given that Doha felt like a turning point last year, the memories could help Murray secure his first win of the season in 2024. The 36-year-old has already shut down suggestions that he should retire following his disappointing run. “The easiest thing for me would have been to leave my career,” Murray said after his latest loss in Marseille.

“But I continue because I love the game, I love training. At the moment, without a doubt, it is not easy to compete. But what is happening now does not affect my career.” The Brit also hit back at an article claiming that he was tarnishing his legacy by continuing to compete.

“Tarnishing my legacy? Do me a favour. I’m in a terrible moment right now I’ll give you that. Most people would quit and give up in my situation right now. But I’m not most people and my mind works differently. I won’t quit. I will keep fighting and working to produce the performances I know I’m capable of,” he tweeted at the end of January.

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