Solo Murray seeks 32nd singles title in Dubai

Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:03am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Andy Murray will aim for a 32nd singles title in Dubai this week temporarily shorn of his coach and practice partners as he tries to put his latest grand slam disappointment behind him.

The world number four made it six losses in eight grand slam finals with another defeat by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open this month, the 27-year-old Scot matching the Serb for two sets before losing 12 of the last 13 games in Melbourne.

Murray could face Djokovic again in the Dubai championships final but for now he is looking for someone to practice with.

His coach Amelie Mauresmo is absent in part due to her duties as captain of France’s Federation Cup team and will not return until Indian Wells in mid-March.

Murray was due to knock up with Fernando Verdasco on Sunday but the Spaniard was held up at Dubai airport for eight hours.

Verdasco's compatriot Feliciano Lopez, who is a left-hander like Murray’s first-round opponent Gilles Muller, also scrapped a mooted practice session on Monday due to illness.

The Scot said he preferred to have a coach with him.

“If you have a coach around it’s a lot easier to do basket drills or work on specific things,” Murray told reporters. “You can get constant feedback with what you’re doing.”   Continued...

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their men's singles final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria