Murray stronger twelve months on
Originally published on: 03/03/12 09:58
Going through his difficult spell in the wake of last year’s Australian Open was not easy for Andy Murray, but the Scot believes he has emerged from the experience with greater mental strength.
Murray lost in his first three matches following Melbourne last year, falling at the first hurdle in Rotterdam, Indian Wells and Miami, but recovered to enjoy the best year of his career. He reached the semi-finals or better of all four Grand Slam tournaments and won titles at Queen’s Club in London, Cincinnati, Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai
“I struggled and it took a lot of hard work and courage, I think, to come back and have the year that I did,” Murray said after reaching today’s final of the Dubai Duty Free Championships against Roger Federer, having become the first player to beat Novak Djokovic this year. “It wasn’t an easy period for me.”
Murray said he had also learned from his two most recent defeats to Djokovic, having run the Serb close on both occasions. Murray served for the match in their Rome Masters semi-final last year and went within five points of beating him in this year’s Australian Open semi-finals.
“I think the thing you learn after a match like that [in Melbourne] is how much you need to suffer on the court to win matches like that, and also how important it is,” he said. “It wasn’t just the Australian Open. The match in Rome last year was brutal. It was over three hours and we finished really late in the evening. They’re tough matches to lose, but each time you go on the court against players they know that this isn’t going to be easy and you’re going to try and win every single point, every game.
“That’s why those matches in Rome and the Australian Open were so important. Even though I lost them, I’m sure Novak knows if he wants to beat me he’s going to have to fight 110 per cent and play long, long points.”