For the fifth time Andy Murray came up short in the Australian Open. In a rematch of the 2015 final, the 2016 edition result was the same with Murray falling to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 61, 75, 76(3) in Melbourne Sunday night.
After getting his doors blown off in the first set, Murray played much better in the second and third, breaking Djokovic and showing little fatigue following a 4-hour semifinal win Friday.
Djokovic, though, better in the end and just too strong. Murray falls to 9-22 vs the Serb losing 11 of their last 12 and all five now in Melbourne.
Murray’s wife is expecting a baby imminently and Kim’s father collapsed last week, so it’s been a tough event for the World No. 2. After the win, he spoke to the press.
Q. Can you give us your verdict on the match?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, basically I saw some of the stats just at the end of the match. He won 25 more points than me, 26 more points. I had 25 or 26 more unforced errors.
You know, I think I didn’t hit my forehand particularly well at the beginning of the match. I started to hit it better in the third set. But, yeah, that was it.
Q. The level of tennis in the second and third sets was pretty high, judging by your standards?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think so. I mean, the end of the second set, obviously the game I lost 40-Love up, was a tough one.
You know, maybe I could have nicked that set. I was starting to have quite a lot of opportunities in the second. I had a few chances there when I got the break back I think. That was a tough game to lose.
Then obviously in the third I felt like towards the end of the set, after I got the break back again, that I was creating a few chances.
Then obviously, you know, in the tiebreak, I missed two second serves by a little bit. He had served an ace on the T, which was in by a little bit. That was it.
Q. Can you give us some insight on what the problems were in the first set? Just couldn’t get going?
ANDY MURRAY: A lots been going on. You know, I started the last couple of matches quite slowly, I think, understandable in some respects. Obviously, you know, it’s not good to begin matches like that against someone like Novak.
But, you know, I’m proud of the way I fought and managed to get myself back into the match and create chances for myself.
But, yeah, obviously didn’t start particularly well.
Q. You’ve had a good fortnight from the first point to the end?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m proud that I got into this position, you know. Just quite looking forward to getting home now.
Q. You paid tribute to Kim at the end. How difficult has the past fortnight been?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s been hard. Yeah, I spoke about it. Regardless of today’s result, it’s been hard. Had I lost in the third or fourth round it still would have been difficult with everything that’s happened.
She’s been, yeah, amazing. Handled everything unbelievably well. Yeah, I have to thank her for allowing me to play and sort of stay here with everything that was going on.
But, yeah, it was tough.
Q. Not we’re trying to get rid of you, but what time is your plane?
ANDY MURRAY: I think the earliest one was at like 1:00, but I was booked on — I’ve been held on flights for it feels like five days. I’ve been held on almost every single flight, so the first one out of here, I’m leaving. It’s at 1:00, I think.
Q. Do you think you’re getting close to the level of Djokovic?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don’t know how far off I was tonight. The first set, you know, I wasn’t there, but the second and third sets I do think were very close.
I do think I could have played a bit better, like I said. I didn’t think I hit my forehand as well as I could have done. When I did in the third set, that helped me out a lot. I was able to get myself into the net more. I was able to play more offensive tennis then.
Yeah, I mean, most of the matches we played in slams I think have been competitive. Whether that looks the same from the outside or not, I don’t know. For a three-set match, 2 hours and 50 minutes, it was a tough few sets.
Q. Can you say how close you came to packing your bags after Nigel’s thing on Saturday?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. It was a difficult one. I mean, yeah, I don’t know. It was close. I’ve never been in that position before, so it’s as close as I’ve sort of been to leaving a Grand Slam.
But I don’t really know how close that is. But, yeah, it was a tough, tough couple of days. Thankfully he’s fine now. Yeah, I just want to get home.
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