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Anderson goes down, Murray puzzled after Rome exit

Tennis

World No 1 Andy Murray is unsure what caused his recent slump after his Italian Open title defence ended with a 6-2 6-4 defeat by home favourite Fabio Fognini in the second round.

Murray had his most successful season on clay last year, winning one out of three finals, but has seen his fortunes on the surface reverse with the loss to Fognini marking three unsuccessful clay tournaments in a row.

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Andy Murray chases down a ball against Fabio Fognini. Photo: Max Rossi, ReutersFabio Fognini was just too good for Andy Murray. Photo: Max Rossi, Reuters

“I wasn’t creating enough chances on my own,” Murray was quoted by the ATP website (www.atpworldtour.com).

“Normally during matches your opponent might give you a few opportunities with some errors, and obviously you hope to create a few yourself. That certainly wasn’t the case today. The only chance I really got was when he was making errors.”

Late on Tuesday, South African Kevin Anderson – who had to qualify for the main draw – also went down to German 16th seed Alexander Zverev 6-4 4-6 6-4.

Murray has won one out of seven tournaments this season, exiting in the round of 16 or earlier in four of those. He was eliminated in the semi-finals at the Barcelona Open, and his only title win was at the Dubai Open in March.

The 30-year-old was particularly unhappy with his movement on the court.

“Movement the last two weeks has not been good,” Murray said. “My movement has been a big help, the last couple of years, but certainly the last couple of weeks, that’s been a problem. So I need to address that.”

The Briton also said his No 1 ranking had nothing to do with his performances. “I’m just not playing well and I don’t think it’s to do with my ranking,” Murray added.

Next up for Murray is the French Open that starts next week.

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