ATP

Andy Murray well beaten by Ugo Humbert in Dubai

By Sports Desk February 28, 2024

Andy Murray’s search for back-to-back wins goes on after he was comfortably beaten by Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Murray produced his best win for several months in the first round by seeing off Denis Shapovalov but fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss against 18th-ranked Frenchman Humbert.

Murray dropped serve twice in succession in the opening set and was unable to apply any real pressure on Humbert’s delivery, winning just seven return points during the contest.

The second set was a little closer, but Murray cut a thoroughly frustrated figure as he attempted to trade with the clean-hitting Frenchman, who clinched victory after only an hour-and-a-half.

Murray has not won more than a single match at any tournament since August and speculation continues around when he will depart the court for good.

After beating Shapovalov, the Scot talked about trying to do his best “these last few months”, but he has now hinted he would like to keep going until at least this summer’s Olympics.

Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme he is likely to make that information public at some point.

“When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament,” he said. “Whether I say anything months ahead of the time, I don’t know.”

While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

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