Andy Murray's losing streak extends to six matches after defeat by Tomas Machac in Marseille
Andy Murray’s miserable run continued with a first-round loss to Tomas Machac at the Open 13 Provence. The 36-year-old’s 7-5 6-4 defeat by Czech Machac in Marseille was his sixth in a row dating back to October and means he has won only one of his last 10 matches.
This was not a bad performance against a player on the rise in 23-year-old Machac, ranked 66, but again there were costly lapses from the Scot. Murray recovered from an early break and appeared to have the momentum late in the opening set, only for Machac to break serve at 5-5. The Czech then moved ahead early in the second set and Murray was unable to recover the deficit.
It was a significantly better day, though, for Heather Watson, who claimed her best victory by ranking since 2017 to upset ninth seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 7-5 at the Abu Dhabi Open. Watson struggled in 2023, but she played confident, aggressive tennis to defeat 16th-ranked Russian Kudermetova and the win could see her break back into the world’s top 130.
“I know she’s such a great player so I knew I had to play really well today,” said Watson, who defeated former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round of qualifying. “I just focused on what was in my control, my serve and just trying to be as aggressive as I can. I played really well and had a lot of fun out here today.”
Watson joins compatriot Emma Raducanu in the second round and will next face Spaniard Cristina Bucsa. Harriet Dart, meanwhile, is on the verge of moving back into the top 100 after a 6-4 7-6 (0) victory over Anna Bondar in the opening round of the Transylvania Open in Romania.