Murray exits Rome after 'patchy' display against Fognini

AFP

Andy Murray's chances of being seeded for the French Open were dented on Wednesday when the former world number one lost to Fabio Fognini in the first round of the Italian Open.

Just days after winning the second-tier Aix-en-Provence Challenger Tour crown, his first title since 2019 and first on clay since 2016, Murray delivered another inconsistent claycourt performance in a 6-4 4-6 6-4 defeat by Fognini.

Murray, who had been hoping to boost his world ranking with a deep run in Rome and be seeded for Roland Garros, said it had been a "pretty patchy match" against the Italian.

"There was some good stuff in there, but also some pretty average stuff," he was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "He played well in the third set. My level was OK, but he played really well in the third."

Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray, who also suffered early defeats in Monte Carlo and Madrid, has not played at Roland Garros since 2020 following two hip surgeries.

In the past, he has opted to skip tournaments during the claycourt season to focus on the grasscourt swing heading into Wimbledon.

Murray said he was undecided about what he would do next and would discuss with his team whether to take a wild card into another tournament before next week.

"I'd still like to play but we did agree that we would talk and make a decision as a team after Rome," he added.

"That is what I wanted, to see how my game felt, how I was playing and physically how I was doing in some of the longer matches before making a definitive call on it.

"We'll have those discussions in the next few days."

The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, begins on May 28.

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