Murray positive despite slam defeat

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Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray ended 2014 winning just one of 13 games against Roger Federer and finished the first grand slam of 2015 suffering the same depressing sequence at the hands of Novak Djokovic.

But the former Wimbledon champion insists his performances in the ATP World Tour Finals and Sunday’s Australian Open final were “night and day” as he reflected on an ultimately successful campaign in Melbourne.

“T here’s been a great couple of weeks compared with where I was a couple of months ago. It’s like night and day really,” said Murray, who was 2-0 ahead in the third set against Djokovic before losing 12 of the last 13 games.

“I’m playing way, way better in almost every part of my game. Moving better. Physically I feel better, more c onfident, more belief. I was a lot calmer before my matches. Mentally I felt much, much stronger than I did at the end of last year and during the majors really last year. So for me a lot of positives.

“I wouldn’t want to come away from here feeling negative about the way that I played or reaching a slam final. Novak has won five times here now. There’s no disgrace obviously in losing to him.”

Less than three months have passed since Murray was thrashed 6-0 6-1 by Federer in London and, based on that performance, few were giving Murray a chance of reaching his fourth final in Melbourne.

However, the 27-year-old believes his traditional winter training regime in Florida and the time he was able to spend with coach Amelie Mauresmo paid dividends as he advanced to the final for the loss of just two sets.

“It’s pleasing to be back playing close to my best,” added Murray, who climbed from sixth to fourth in the world rankings by reaching the Melbourne final. “And it does show that still feel like I can make improvements in my game. I still think I can get a few per cent better over the next couple of months.

“My job now is to try to m aintain this sort of level and form and the way that I was trying to play throughout the event, try to maintain that for the next few months and not sort of have dips in form. I want to try to be more consistent this year and play better in more events. T hat’s what I want to do the next couple months.

“O bviously in the last couple of months I’ve had a lot of time to work on things with Amelie, also physically as well with my team. I t’s easy for me to sit here and say what I think that she helped with, but everyone in here watched my matches here. I’m sure you can all see what I was like on the court here compared with a couple months ago.

“I feel like it was a completely different player on the court. A lot of that comes down to my team motivating me, working on the right things, then also me motivating myself to come back from a difficult year last year.”

Mauresmo left Melbourne in the early hours of Monday morning due to her commitments as France’s Fed Cup captain – France play Italy in Genoa at the weekend – and Murray admitted he would like to bring in a temporary coach in her absence this month.

But he is also looking forward to some time at home after a busy start to the year which featured an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, the Hopman Cup in Perth and the Australian Open.

“I’ve spent two and a half days at home in the last two and a half months, so I’m looking forward to getting back and spending a bit of time at home with my friends and family and my dogs and being away from the tennis court and the gym for a few days when I get back,” he added.

“T he slams do take a lot out of you physically and mentally because of the length of the matches, and then also the length of the event and the preparation that goes into them.

“I’ll definitely have a think about it (a temporary coach), because I don’t want to go the whole month now not seeing anyone. But it’s about getting the right person rather than rushing and making a bad decision.”

Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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