Murray puts brave face on Slam heartache

Updated: 2011-01-31 07:52

(China Daily)

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 Murray puts brave face on Slam heartache

Andy Murray of Britain reacts during the final. Petar Kujundzic / Reuters

MELBOURNE - Britain's Andy Murray put a brave face on his devastating Australian Open defeat to Novak Djokovic Sunday after seeing his best chance yet to win a major slip away in straight sets.

The out-of-sorts Murray said the 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 loss was easier to swallow than last year's reverse against Roger Federer, when he broke down in tears at the presentation ceremony and took months to recover his form.

Murray has now lost three Grand Slam finals, also including the 2008 US Open against Federer, as he bids to become Britain's first male major-winner since Fred Perry in 1936.

Murray said he doesn't feel the same sense of desolation this year. But he added he may take a break from tennis which could last weeks or even months.

"It's better than it was last year," Murray said. "You know, it was obviously tough, disappointing. I thought Novak played unbelievably well and yeah, it's tough, but I've got to deal with it.

"I was in a much worse state last year than I was this year. I don't know why.

"I'll see what I do from here, you know. I don't know, I might not play for a few months, I might feel like playing in a week's time. It depends - see how I feel."

The languid 23-year-old is now yet to win a set in three Grand Slam finals. But he insisted he wouldn't lose any sleep over his failure to land a big title.

"I want to keep working hard, try and improve, but I said before the final, it's not something that I lose sleep over at night," he said.

"It's going to be tough for sure for a few days but I want to try and win one, of course.

"But if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I'm just working as hard as I can. I train very hard, I take tennis very seriously.

"But I love my life away from tennis, as well. That's why maybe this year, compared with last, I'm very, very happy off the court.

"I'm enjoying myself. There's other things to look forward to, too."

Murray also said he had no fitness problems heading the match, despite looking slow around the court. The Briton, who had a punishing semifinal against David Ferrer on Friday, said Djokovic was simply at the top of his game.

"He played great. I would have liked to have played better but I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour if he played like that tonight," Murray said.

"He served well, he didn't make many mistakes from the back of the court, he moved really, really well, he hit the ball very clean. That was it.

"He defended unbelievably well tonight so when I got ahead in some games, and even just in points, he was sticking up lobs that were landing on the baseline, passing shots that were very close to the lines.

"So it was quite difficult to find parts of the court where I was getting free points from. I think I broke his serve maybe twice in the third set and still lost it 6-3. I was trying to find a way - I just wasn't able to put enough good points together."

Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 01/31/2011 page24)


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