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My body needs a break, admits Murray

Nick Atkin at Queen's Club
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Andy Murray lost in straight sets to Radek Stepanek on Thursday © Getty Images
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Andy Murray won't hit a ball for the next two days after admitting "the body needs a little break just now" following his shock early Queen's exit.

After winning his last 19 matches on grass, Murray's run fizzled out with a straight sets defeat to world No.42 Radek Stepanek.

Murray said he was below par on Thursday, following his exertions at the French Open where he went to five sets twice before being dismantled by Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals last week.

"I'm going to take a couple of days off now, because since the Monday before the French Open I have played every single day bar one up to now," Murray added.

"I'll rest. I won't hit any balls. I won't go to the gym. Then on Sunday I'll start hitting balls again. I'll start training and start going to the gym.

"Sometimes the rest is as important as the training, because you don't want to go into a tournament like Wimbledon tired and not fresh.

"I have only got myself to blame that I lost the first set. I don't know how many set points I had, but quite a lot of them were on my serve.

"On this surface especially you shouldn't really be losing sets like that. For me, that's what's disappointing really about the match. And then unfortunately I got broke in the first game of the second set. I couldn't quite get it back."

Murray will be back at Queen's on Sunday afternoon for the Rally for Bally charity event, played in memory of Elena Baltacha, who died of liver cancer in May aged 30, before he starts his Wimbledon preparations the same evening.

Having been restricted to just three days of practice on grass before his first match this week, Murray admitted the defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

"I played well on the grass over the last few years, so I would have hoped to have done a bit better," said Murray. "But it's more about how I get myself ready for Wimbledon now and how I use the next 10 days of preparation on the grass. Hopefully I can do a good job of that.

"My best tennis has been on this surface, so I just need to get on the practice court. I need to spend some time on this surface to get used to it.

"All of my best results on the grass last year came when I had obviously a decent amount of preparation time. When I played my best tennis at the Olympics, that was seven or eight weeks I spent on the grass courts.

"I was going to have a few days off as soon as I was finished here whether I won the tournament or not. So in some ways, it can be good providing I use next week properly, if I get some good practice in and work on the right things and get some good training done.

"From a player's perspective there is a huge difference between playing clay court and grass court tennis. The movement is totally different.

"The difference between this year and last year is obviously I played a lot of matches the last couple of weeks, at the French Open. Whereas coming in last year I probably had about a week, 10 days' preparation on the grass before I started here.

"So that obviously helped me during the tournament because not all the other players had that. Whereas this year it was two days to get ready for the tournament."

Stepanek admitted he raised his game given the opposition and the setting.

"When you play the best ones, you're going to come out with your best," said Stepanek. "I think that's what I did today.

"The best ones are always the best targets. Doesn't matter where you play them, but definitely it's special to play on grass in England after his winning Wimbledon. He won Olympics here. Even here in Queen's he won.

"It's always nice to beat one of the best players in the world. It's the biggest motivation beating the young and the best ones."

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