ANDY MURRAY posted a one-word X-rated blast on Twitter after losing to bitter rival Alex Zverev.
The British tennis legend lost 6-4, 7-6 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open yesterday.
Murray was looking for his top five win since the end of 2016 as well as attempting to stop a man who had won 18 of his last 19 games, dating back to Vverev’s Tokyo Olympic Gold medal performance.
And despite the tournament providing plenty of encouraging signs regarding the physical terms of the 34-year-old, he was unable to find a way past his foe and the world No4.
And he vented his fury by angrily hurling his racket as the match ended in a 7-4 tiebreak and then posting the word ‘F***’ onto his social media account.
Murray had admitted beforehand there was little love lost between the pair, saying: “I wouldn’t say we’re best friends. I mean, we don’t really chat a whole lot.”
Still full of emotion after his setback, Murray said: “I’m not saying he played great either, but I don’t think I played well today. There were a lot of mistakes.
“There was some good stuff in there, but it was mixed in with bad. There was no consistency I don’t think.
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“My average level was just not really there today. It was either good or bad. Yeah, I wouldn’t put that down as playing really well.
“The positive for me to take from it is I obviously had opportunities again. Yeah, I mean, I guess that’s positive. I didn’t feel like I played a great match and still had chances, so that’s positive.
“But, yeah, I’m disappointed because, I mean, I obviously want to be winning these matches. I haven’t in the last few months. Yeah, something needs to change.”
Zverev has been one of the most consistent stars on the circuit since the Covid pandemic began yet off the court he has generated negative headlines about his alleged behaviour.
The world No4 is being investigated by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men’s tennis, following claims he attacked his ex-girlfriend at the 2019 ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai.
In an interview with Slate online magazine in August, ex-partner Olga Sharypova claimed Zverev physically and emotionally abused her during the tournament in China.
Sharypova has also accused Zverev, 24, of covering her face with a pillow until she could no longer breathe and punching her in the face in separate incidents in New York and Geneva.
Zverev, winner of Olympic gold in Tokyo in August, denies all the allegations.
Yet the ATP had been previously criticised for its general handling of the Zverev case and until recently not having a domestic abuse policy in its rulebook.
Though the claims are the talk of the locker room – as was seen in an unguarded moment on camera involving John McEnroe at the Laver Cup in Boston – few are willing to address the issue publicly.
Murray is one who has been asked about it and last month the 34-year-old said the way it had been handled wasn’t good for anyone involved.