'I love this city': Andy Murray bids farewell to Miami and looks forward to final few months of career

The Scot lost out to Machac after a thrilling third-round clash at the Miami Open

Andy Murray said an emotional farewell to Miami and admitted he is “looking forward to the end” after crashing out of the Miami Open in agonising fashion late on Sunday night.

The 36-year-old Scot, who plans to retire from tennis at the end of the summer, lost 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7/5) to unseeded Czech Tomas Machac in an epic match at the ATP Masters 1000 Series event in Florida that lasted more than three hours. Murray led 5-3 in the final-set tie-break, having broken Machac to stay in the match, but could not get over the line and book a place in the last 16. He was also hampered by injury after appearing to roll his ankle at 5-5 in the final set, but battled on as he tried to clock up his third win in a row.

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Murray used Miami as a training base for much of his career and won the tournament twice. He was filled with sadness as he left the Butch Buchholz court for the last time. “I wasn’t thinking about all the matches I played,” he said. “Just more that that’s the last match that I am going play here which is sad because I love it here. I’ve spent so much of my tennis career here and I would have liked it to have gone on a little bit longer. This tournament in particularly for me is an important one so it was a bit more emotional leaving the court today than it might be at some of the other events. Miami has been a special place for me during my career. It’s been my tennis home really. I’ve done so much of my work and training and preparation here. I love the city.”

Andy Murray was defeated after a gruelling three-set battle with Tomas Machac in Miami.Andy Murray was defeated after a gruelling three-set battle with Tomas Machac in Miami.
Andy Murray was defeated after a gruelling three-set battle with Tomas Machac in Miami.

“I am looking forward to the end now, give my best the next few months and get to be at home with my family.”

Murray also had an altercation with umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match, appearing to be furious with the official for failing to control the movement of spectators as he lost his serve at the end of the second set. His frustrations with fans moving between points boiled over and he could be heard shouting to Bernardes: “Useless, useless.” In response to an unheard reply from Bernardes, Murray responded: “What are you talking about? It’s quite obvious when people are standing up between every single point.”

Murray played some good tennis in Miami, defeating Matteo Berrettini and Tomas Martin Etcheverry before finally falling to Machac. “It’s been pretty positive, there were some good signs in my game, definitely an improvement on the last few tournaments,” said Murray. Not perfect but considering everything to be winning matches against the players I did and pushing Thomas like I did today, I’m proud of myself because it’s extremely difficult to do what I’m doing with the issue that I have. To still be able to compete with these guys is a credit to myself and the work that I’ve done and the effort that I’ve put into this to keep myself in this position.”

Murray will now head back to Europe for the clay-court swing. The two-times Wimbledon champion is expected to compete at the French Open at Roland Garros, where the Olympics are also going to be held later in the summer. The grass court season starts in June, with Queen’s and then the Championships at SW19 firmly on his radar.