Andy Murray has vowed to put in some long hours on the practice courts after he was embarrassed by Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
The Scot eased past Edouard Roger-Vasselin in his first match of the clay-court season but found Wawrinka a different proposition altogether. The Swiss overpowered Murray to win 6-1 6-2.
The comprehensive defeat means Roger Federer will leapfrog above Murray in the world rankings, less than three weeks after the British number one climbed to second.
Murray was keen to avoid a traditionally slow start to the clay-court campaign and had spoken about hitting the ground running in the lead-up to the event in Monaco. However, it was not to be as Wawrinka dominated the first set and went on to seal a routine win.
It was Murray’s third straight defeat to the world number 17 on clay and left him with much to ponder as he prepares for next month’s French Open.
“I made a lot of mistakes – 24 unforced errors is far too many, a set’s worth. He served well, won some points from there and when I started making a lot of errors I was hitting the ball shorter and he was able to dictate a lot of points from there,” said Murray.
The US Open champion reiterated that it takes him a while to make the transition to clay and often needs a defeat like the one inflicted by Wawrinka to get going.
“Normally towards the end of the clay-court season, I start to feel better with my game and I’ve had some good results, but at the start I have struggled a little bit,” added Murray.
“I need to work very hard over the next two weeks to get myself ready for Madrid.”