Murray: Favourite’s tag not a burden
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:16
The world number four, who arrived in Melbourne as favourite for the trophy after an unbeaten start to the year, suffered a 2-6 6-1 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat against 14th seed Verdasco.
“It did not make a whole lot of difference to the way I played in my matches,” said the British number one. “You know, I felt comfortable from the start. It didn’t make a whole lot of difference to me.”
He added: “I got very good support this week, which wasn’t the same in the past when I played tournaments overseas. So that was nice.”
Murray struggled to cope as Verdasco produced a showcase of blistering serving, impressive groundstrokes, drop shots and lobs.
The 21-year-old hit more winners and had 10 fewer unforced errors but failed to convert crucial break points.
In the sixth game of the fifth set, Murray passed up two break points before losing the game, and then lost his own serve in the next game.
“When I did have the break points, I think he made a first serve on every one,” said Murray. “I think he served two aces (in that game).
“It’s difficult to be defensive when that happens. The one point where I did get in, he hit a very good first serve. My first return went to his forehand, and he just moved me from side to side.
“That’s what he does very well. He hit the ball too big on the day.”