Andy Murray once again bit the dust in the California desert on Monday, falling in the third round to claycourt specialist Federico Delbonis.
It was another early Indian Wells exit for the world number two Murray, who has made it past the quarter-finals of the ATP tour event just once in the last six years.
“I have just never really found a way to get comfortable here throughout my career. It’s a shame,” said Murray, who reached the Indian Wells final seven years ago but also lost back-to-back opening matches in 2011 and 2012.
The two-time Grand Slam winner was ousted 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3) by 53rd ranked Argentinian Delbonis.
Murray says everything he’s attempted to try and get an edge here seems to fall short.
He’s tried arriving in southern California early to give him more time to acclimatize, practising longer to get match ready and stringing his racquets tighter for more control.
“It’s just the conditions here. I have just struggled with it throughout my career,” he said. “I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here.
“I have tried and had many different preparations where I’ve got here early and spent a lot of time on the courts, and sometimes I arrive later, like this time from Davis Cup.”
Murray, who is the first British player in the Open Era to win 500 matches, has a 25-11 overall record at Indian Wells. He lost in the final to Rafael Nadal in 2009.
If there is a consolation for Murray it’s that he gets to travel to Miami where he will meet up with his wife, Kim, and daughter Sophia, who is just five weeks old.
Of the top four men’s players in the world, Murray is the latest to become a first-time dad. The others are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. Federer has the most titles as a dad with 28.