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Andy Murray loses exhibition set to Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi

Andy Murray was far from his best in exhibition set against Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi.

Reem Abulleil 2017/12/29

Andy Murray admits there’s still room for improvement following his 6-2 loss in an exhibition set against Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The former world No. 1, now down to 16 in the rankings following a six-month hiatus due to hip injury, agreed to play an exhibition set against Bautista Agut after Novak Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) in Abu Dhabi citing pain in his elbow.

Murray looked far from his best, particularly his movement, which has always been one of his greatest assets. His fighting spirit was ever present though as he staved off one break point after the other before finally surrendering.

“I felt better as it went along – obviously a bit slow at the start. Roberto is one of the best players in the world and when you haven’t competed for a long while it takes time to get back up to that pace,” Murray said in his brief on-court interview.

“I started to feel a bit better towards the end, but I’ll need to keep improving for sure.

“It was nice, obviously I was planning on stopping here for a few days to get some practice in with the guys here, and then it was unfortunate that Novak wasn’t able to play. I was here so I agreed to play a set and was very lucky to be able to play out here in front of everyone.”

Murray was a surprise appearance in Abu Dhabi as he flew to the capital on Thursday morning to practice on the courts of Zayed Sports City before he flies to Brisbane where he is due to kick-off his 2018 season.

He hit the practice courts with his coach Jamie Delgado on Thursday and Friday before taking on Bautista Agut in the evening.


“It’s always difficult to stay out from the circuit a lot of time and then come back and feel okay in five minutes, no? It takes a while. I think he needs to spend more time on the court to get better feelings, like everybody,” said Bautista Agut of Murray’s form.

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