Andy Murray confessed his game needs urgent improvement after the Scot’s Wimbledon title defence came to an abrupt end at the hands of No11 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
The 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 defeat snapped Murray’s 17-match winning streak at the All England Club – which included claiming a gold medal at the London Olympics followed by the Wimbledon title last season – and denied him a place in a sixth successive semi-final here.
Since he managed to capture the Wimbledon trophy last season to end Britain’s 77-year wait for a home men’s singles champion, Murray has not been able to win a title and the 27-year-old admits he hasn’t added much to his game since then while the younger generation – such as 23-year-old Dimitrov – have been catching up.
He has now lost in straight sets in three of his last four majors – to Dimitrov, Rafael Nadal in Roland Garros last month and Stan Wawrinka at last year’s US Open.
“I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game. I’ve lost a couple of matches in straight sets in the last few slams and played poorly,” he said. “So I need to have a think about things, what are the things I need to improve, and get myself in better shape and work even harder.
"Everyone’s starting to get better," Murray added. "The younger guys are becoming more mature and improving all the time.”
Murray’s defeat came just 24 hours after world No1 Nadal’s shock loss to 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios and he believes the young guns are getting harder to beat.
“I don’t feel like I have improved so much since Wimbledon last year, I think I’ve played some very good tennis but also some ordinary stuff at times,” commented Murray, who will drop to No10 in the world when the rankings are released on Monday – his lowest ranking since June 2008.
He said: “If you play against a player, like a (Nick) Kyrgios or Dimitrov or (Milos) Raonic and those guys and you don’t play very well, it’s tough to win those matches now.
“Whereas before, when they’re younger and a bit inexperienced, you can still find ways to come through them. But now that they’re getting more experience and improving, it’s tough to do that.”
Murray revealed he is yet to discuss his future arrangement with his new coach Amelie Mauresmo, who initially teamed up with him for the grass court season.
“I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks (with Amelie). I found it calming. Tactically, I feel like the chats have been good. Also the direction that I would like my tennis to go in,” said Murray. “So I hope (we’ll continue), but we’ll need to sit down and chat.”