Andy Murray hopes that he can manage his injury problems ahead of a busy summer, after twice receiving treatment for a hip injury in the 6-4 5-7 6-3 defeat to Matteo Berrettini in the final of the BOSS Open in Stuttgart.
The Scot showed signs of returning to his best form after overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, but is concerned that this left hip problem could curtail his progress ahead of Wimbledon.
He said in his on-court post-match interview broadcast by the Tennis Channel: "It's been an incredible week here. I really enjoyed it. I'd like to congratulate Matteo and his team on a fantastic week.
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"He's just come back from a surgery and it's never easy. He played extremely well today and deserved the win. Finally thank you to my team here and my team back home.
"Sorry I couldn't get over the line today, but there's been a lot of progress the last few weeks. I'm looking forward to what the future has to hold, I'm feeling a lot better about my game.
"Hopefully my body can hold up a little while longer so I can keep playing matches like this."
The result means Murray was denied a first grass court in six years, as Berrettini secured a sixth career title and his third on grass.
This was the third meeting between the pair, with Murray winning in straight sets at the Beijing Open in 2019, while Berrettini emerged victorious in their meeting at Queen’s last year, in straight sets once again.
The Scot got off to a good start by winning his first service game, but Berrettini replied with a couple of solid serves to level the match at 1-1.
The first break went the way of Berrettini, as Murray double faulted to hand the Italian a 30-15 lead, following that up with a deep forehand in the game to break the serve and move 2-1 ahead.
Murray had four break points on Berrettini’s serve, but the Italian saved all of them - primarily by powering down aces to win the game and take a 3-1 lead.
The service was continuously held by both players, and Berrettini then served for the set at 5-4 to win it to 15 and take the first set 6-4.
It was important for Murray to win his serve in the first game of the set which he did, with service held by both players for the opening eight games. However, the ninth game of the set saw Murray under pressure, as he had to save three break points to take the game and lead 5-4.
Berrettini replied to win his service game to love and levelled it out at 5-5. Murray held his serve, leaving the Italian to serve to stay in the set.
Murray won the opening two points, and then Berrettini double faulted to leave the Scot with three set points.
Berrettini hit a Murray return way long to hand the Brit the set 7-5 to level things up at one set all.
Murray opened up the third set with his serve, but put a forehand into the net to hand Berrettini three break points, which he took, to break serve to love.
At this point, the Scot called for a medical time out, with the physio on court to work on his left leg. After a brief delay, Murray returned to action.
Murray had another medical time out with Berrettini leading 4-2, with games going to serve. Games continued to be held on serve, with the Italian moving 5-3 ahead.
The Scot was serving to stay in the match and after four deuces, and Berrettini’s second match point, he won the set 6-3 to win the tournament.
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