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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Murray tastes defeat on ATP debut
Andrew Murray
Murray is ranked 314 places lower than Hernych
British teenager Andy Murray's ATP Tour debut ended in disappointment as he was beaten 6-3 4-6 4-6 by Czech Jan Hernych at the Barcelona Open.

The 17-year-old, who is based at the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona, was awarded a wild card for the event.

Murray broke twice to win the first set but lost the second despite fighting back from a break down to level at 4-4.

The Scot defied cramp to go 3-1 up in the decider, only to be broken twice as Hernych won through to round two.

I think he can be one of the best
Andy Murray's coach
Pato Alvares

Murray is ranked 393rd in the world and has spent most of this season playing in Futures tournaments, two levels below the ATP Tour.

He often produced the better tennis against a player ranked 314 places higher than him, but paid the price for making unforced errors on key points.

Murray refused to be downbeat following his defeat.

"I've got a very good chance to get to the top, as I'm only 17 and this guy was about 75 in the world," he said.

"I didn┐t play my best match and I still could have won.

"I didn't play well at all today. I need to improve my physical strength because that let me down a bit toward the end of the third set."

And Murray's coach, Pato Alvares, defended his charge.

"This is his first main serious competition at this level and he had about 10 or 11 break points," Alvares said.

"The only problem was nerves. He just needs to play more and have the mentality to believe he can win, which he will develop over the next year.

"When he arrived here, he was used to a different style and so was making many mistakes.

"But he's now got over this. I think he can be one of the best. He's a very good player and I have a lot of belief in him."

Interview: Britain's Andy Murray


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