Murray: Injury not to blame
Andy Murray insists his back surgery should no longer be considered a factor when analysing defeats such as the one to Milos Raonic that sent him crashing out of the BNP Paribas Open.
The Wimbledon champion fell away alarmingly in the deciding set of his fourth-round clash with the big-serving Canadian at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Having broken to lead 2-1, Murray lost five of the last six games to slump to a 4-6 7-5 6-3 defeat.
Murray had battled through to the fourth round despite being far from his best, and one of the most disappointing things about the outcome was that for much of the match against Raonic it looked like he had found his form.
This was the 26-year-old's fifth tournament since his back operation in September and he arrived in the Californian desert upbeat about his progress and declaring himself back to normal.
And Murray felt physical issues did not offer any explanation for his final-set collapse.
He said: "It shouldn't really be down to not playing enough matches. I feel like I've played enough.
"Right now I'm not pulling up after matches stiff or sore or anything like that. So I think I'm match fit, match tight. Maybe I'm making some bad decisions in those situations.
"But I'll need to have a think about it and have a look at what happened. All of the shots kind of deserted me a bit."
The only explanation Murray could come up with for his poor play was a lack of confidence, although he insisted he has been generally happy with his performances this season.
He said: "The third set, that's concerning for me. The rest of the matches I have played since I have come back, I haven't been particularly concerned about them.
"Australia was good, Davis Cup was good, Acapulco was good. Today was fine until I went ahead in the third set, and then I was poor. It wasn't good enough.
"To get broken two consecutive times in that situation isn't good enough. I played poor tennis at that stage.
"I didn't make enough balls, missed easy shots, b ut like really easy shots, not like ones that are deep balls where you're just trying to get it back into play. There were some where he was standing at the net and I just had to hit it to the other side.
"The third set was just a bad, bad set of tennis. That's what's disappointing for me, because the rest of the match was okay."
Murray now heads to his second home of Miami to defend his title at the Sony Open, which begins next week.
Unlike Indian Wells, Crandon Park is a venue where he has had a lot of success, and he will desperately hope it can be the same again.