Andy Murray makes improvement vow as he eyes return to tennis' summit after ending season

“I didn’t hit the ball particularly well so I was on the back foot in most of the rallies,” said Murray.

“I was just battling, timing was off from the back of the court a little bit, but that’s the first time since February where I played three consecutive days.”

A defiant Murray declared deep runs at ATP tournaments were ‘coming’ – but he came up short against an aggressive Paul in the opening set.

The Scot brilliantly recovered to reach the third set, and neither player earned a break point until Murray hit the net and struck an ill-timed double fault to gift Paul the opportunity to serve for the win.

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