Murray far from championship form

He was all over the place Monday. For context, consider that Haase, of the Netherlands, is not a dominant player. He's ranked No. 70 among ATP World Tour players; coming in, his record at the US Open was 1-4 -- and he was 0-8 against top-10 players in Grand Slam play. Three years ago in the second round, Murray was down two sets and rallied to win in five.

Murray had more unforced errors (51) than winners (47) and Haase actually finished with an edge in overall points (146-145).

It's been a tough go, relatively speaking, after the spectacle of winning Wimbledon. Murray has lost to all seven of the top 10-ranked players he's faced since, most notably Stan Wawrinka at last year's US Open, Roger Federer at the Australian Open and Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. There's no shame in that, but more troubling are losses to lesser players, like Santiago Giraldo, No. 42 Radek Stepanek and No. 40 Florian Mayer.

Earlier this summer, Murray fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and FedererĀ in Toronto and Cincinnati before they entered the top 10. That they both went on to win those events was comforting to Murray, at least on some level.

"I have been playing well the last few weeks," Murray said here before the tournament. "This week has been very good preparation. I'm happy. I feel ready to start the tournament."

Murray went on to say that he was feeling better prepared physically than in any major since last year's Wimbledon.

"I got a great training block over in Miami done, so physically I'm where I would want to be. My body is pain-free, which is good," he said.

He didn't mention the mental side.

After the match, Murray was asked if there was a mental component to his post-Wimbledon struggles to reach a final.

"To be honest," Murray said, "I've played pretty good in the Slams this year. I played well at the French and the first week of Wimbledon. So, no, I have still been pumped to train and get myself ready for the biggest events.

"But, yeah, I know they are very, very difficult tournaments to win. You need everything to be going well to win them."

Murray has reached the quarterfinals of the three previous Slams, but he's going to have to pick it up if he wants to get there again. Tsonga awaits in a potential fourth-round matchup.

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