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French Open 2024: Andy Murray remains proud of his legacy despite Roland Garros

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Andy Murray departs Roland Garros, probably for the final time, proud of
his legacy at the French Open and saying most players would sign up for the results he has had on Paris’ clay surface.

The former world No 1 was well beaten by fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka, 6-4 6-4 6-2, under the lights on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday evening.

Murray, who is still expected to retire this year, has never won the French Open due chiefly to the dominance of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

But on his least favourite surface, and one that he has struggled on physically, the 37-year-old still reached the final in 2016 where he was runner-up to Djokovic.

“Yeah, I’ve done really well here over the years,” he said.

“I think the issue for me is that when you compare it to what Rafa or Novak achieved in the same time, it obviously is minuscule in comparison.

“Most players would sign up for the results I’ve had here. I played a final, I think four semis and made the quarters a couple of times as well. I lost in the semis to Novak in five, Stan in five, and twice to Rafa. Obviously no shame in that.

“In a different time maybe the results would have been a bit different. But I’m proud of the results that I had here. I had great memories.

“It was not an easy surface for me. But I always showed up and, you know, put in some strong performances, considering. It was a good run here over the years.”

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The Sky Sports tennis team break down why Murray has decided to change his racket at such a late point in his career

It was a familiar feeling on Sunday for Murray, whose last three matches on the Paris clay have now ended in defeat to his Swiss rival.

The first was the epic semi-final defeat in five brutal sets in 2017, a match which ultimately proved too much for Murray’s hip and almost forced him into retirement.

This one was more like the second, a straight-sets first-round defeat in 2020, but it has probably still nudged Murray another step closer to calling it a day.

Murray has, of course, provided plenty of unforgettable late-night drama over the years. But sadly, it looks as though the well has finally run dry.

In fairness, the two-time Wimbledon winner had done well just to get here having ruptured ankle ligaments nine weeks ago.

“I wish I could have done a little bit better,” he added.

“Disappointed but I didn’t have extremely high expectations with the way the preparation had been coming in.

“But obviously I would have liked to have done better.”

Murray, Evans
Image:
Murray and Dan Evans are the first non-French pair to be awarded a wildcard into the men’s doubles at Roland Garros in over 20 years

Murray, who had a long conversation – a “private” one, he insisted – over the net with his opponent, still plans to play in the doubles with fellow Brit Dan Evans.

“Physically tennis is not easy for me nowadays,” he said. “It’s hard and clay has always been a surface that since the very beginning of my career I’ve had back issues on.

“It had been a bit of a struggle in the training and in the build-up, but I felt pretty good going into the match, considering. Hopefully, I’ll be fine for the doubles.”

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