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Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 12:07 UK

Andy Murray says he was outplayed by Tomas Berdych

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Coverage:
Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Andy Murray

Highlights - Murray crashes out of French Open

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Andy Murray refused to blame the poor playing conditions and admitted he was simply outplayed in his straight-sets defeat by Tomas Berdych in the fourth round of the French Open.

The British number one lost 6-4 7-5 6-3 in a rain-interrupted encounter on Court Suzanne Lenglen that finished in near darkness soon after 9.30pm local time on Sunday.

"You can't make excuses about the conditions, they're exactly the same for both of us, it's just tough conditions to play in and he played better than me," said the Scot.

'Tricky' conditions troubled Murray

"I knew you need to expect him to hit a lot of winners, take a lot of chances. You need to try and be solid and stable and make sure that you just hang in there, because you'll get chances."

The reality was that Murray barely had a sniff of a chance in the entire two hours and 16 minutes, a single break point illustrating how much he struggled to handle Berdych's powerful serving and heavy groundstrokes.

It seemed he might get a reprieve when rain halted play with Berdych leading 6-4 3-4 but they returned to court at 8.40pm and, not for the first time this week, Murray failed to get going after the break.

"I got myself back into it and struggled when we came back out from the rain delay," said the world number four. "But he played a good match, he hit a big ball. It was very heavy conditions and he was striking the ball really good."

There is no doubt that the circumstances were not helping Murray but there seemed every chance the match would carry over into a second day as darkness fell, only for the Briton to drop serve twice in succession and hand Berdych the win.

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"I would have liked to have come off when it's difficult to see," Murray admitted. "I just don't want to make excuses about the match. But I think that it shouldn't be down necessarily to the supervisor to make the call because he's not the one playing."

Asked about the officials' ability to judge when conditions become unplayable, he added: "Wimbledon do a very good job of that. Here, I don't know. Tonight was really my first experience of it. It was difficult to see but I'm sure Tomas wanted to try and finish the match. And for me, I wasn't that bothered."

Murray, 23, reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year and had he done so again this time would have faced world number 14, Mikhail Youzhny, who made it through when eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired in their fourth-round match.

That would have opened up the tantalising prospect

Petchey tips Murray for Wimbledon semis

of a possible semi-final against Roger Federer, but Murray was not about to dwell on what might have been.

"Youzhny is an excellent player - that, for me, is a 50/50 match on clay," he said. "But I wasn't thinking or worrying about that match. It's not worth looking ahead every single time, it's not worth doing it.

"You've got to just try and win your own matches. It's irrelevant who won that one because I lost comfortably today."

Murray will head back to the UK on Monday with the grass-court season just a week away, giving him time to prepare for the defence of his Queen's Club title in the build-up to Wimbledon.

"I look forward to playing another tournament now, that's the good thing about tennis," he said. "I'm going to be very disappointed just now but it's a different challenge in a week's time.

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"I get to spend a lot of time in front of home support and look forward to the grass-court season regardless of what goes on off the court. Queen's is obviously a great tournament, it's got great history. To have won that last year was awesome.

"I'll just try to go back there and try to win again this year and give it my best shot."



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see also
Live - French Open
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Murray makes limp exit in Paris
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Venus tumbles out of French Open
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Murray warms to French Open task
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Grand slam women's singles latest
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Order of play
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