Murray proud in defeat

British number one remains optimistic of elusive grand slam title

Last Updated: 28/01/12 11:26am

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Andy Murray believes he is getting closer to ending Britain's wait for a male grand slam champion, now into its 76th year.

Murray bowed out of the Australian Open at the semi-final stage, beaten 6-3 3-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 7-5 by world number one Novak Djokovic in a match lasting 10 minutes short of five hours.

"I don't feel like I've let myself down today."
Andy Murray Quotes of the week

It is the fourth major in a row that the 24-year-old has departed from in the last four, but he preferred to take the positives from his latest near miss.

"Tonight's match was important for many reasons," he said. "Obviously I wanted to win first and foremost.

"But also after last year, the year that Novak's had, I think there's a very fine line between being number one in the world and being three or four. I think that gap, I feel tonight I closed it.

"My job over the next two or three months is to surpass him and the guys in front of me. So take a lot of hard work, and hopefully I can do it."


In a rollercoaster match of long rallies and see-sawing momentum, Murray surrendered the first set, but came back strongly to take a 2-1 lead after a marathon third which lasted 88 minutes.

Djokovic responded to take the fourth set 6-1 and served for the match at 5-3 up in the decider, only for Murray to break to love and extend the drama until he cracked for the final time when serving to stay in it at 5-6.

"It was an up-and-down match. Both of us played well. He was just a little bit better," shrugged the Scot.

But Murray, under the guidance of new coach Ivan Lendl, now feels ready to take the next step.

"Everybody matures at different ages and different rates. I feel now like I'm ready mentally. Physically I can still get better, for sure. But in comparison to how I played last year, it was much, much better," he said.

"Everyone always says to me, 'Andy's too passive, he doesn't go for his shots enough.' I think tonight I did that."

He added: "Sometimes you come off the court and you've played really badly, you haven't quite been there mentally, and then you're really disappointed with yourself because you've let yourself down.

"I don't feel like I've let myself down today."

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