• ATP Tour

Federer not surprised by Murray slump

ESPN staff
March 27, 2011
Andy Murray was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final © PA Photos

Roger Federer has urged Andy Murray to remember his efforts at the Australian Open as he bids to turn his flagging season around.

The Scot stormed into the Melbourne final before losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic, but his game has taken a dramatic nosedive since that point.

Murray has fallen at the first hurdle of each of his subsequent three tournaments - most recently against world No. 118 Alex Bogomolov Jnr at the Sony Ericsson Open. The tame nature of Murray's surrender was particularly alarming, with seven breaks of serve surrendered to his unheralded opponent in Miami.

But world No. 3 Federer, who has only tasted defeat against Djokovic so far this season, has backed Murray to bounce back ahead of the French Open.

"You can always lose in Rotterdam, you can always lose in Indian Wells - but it's [worrying] if it becomes a bit of a trend, and now with the clay-court season looming it's obviously not a good sign for him," Federer told Sky Sports. "I'm quite surprised he wasn't able to continue because he was playing so, so well in Australia.

"He destroyed six guys prior to playing Djokovic … but maybe the tour is not as easy it seems mentally with all the travelling. Andy not playing well for three tournaments is not that big a surprise for me - I struggled hugely when I was between 19 and 23, so for it to happen once in a while I don't think it's that much of a worry. It's important he picks it up before the French and Wimbledon, but he's too good player to continue like this, so he'll be alright."

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