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Nadal defeat helped my fitness – Murray

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:35

Murray had already made great strides with his fitness by the time he faced Nadal in the quarter-finals 12 months ago, but was left in no doubt there was still more hard work to be done. Nadal powered his way to a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory on Centre Court and sent Murray scampering to Miami to put in long hours in the gym and on the track.

“Beating Richard Gasquet in the fourth round last year was a great match to be involved in, but I lost to Nadal comfortably in the next round,” Murray explained. “I actually went away for three or four weeks after that and trained really, really hard over in the States, down in Miami in really warm conditions.”

That decision paid huge dividends, with Murray going on to win his first Masters series title in Cincinnati and reach his first grand slam final at the US Open.

And significantly, the 22-year-old beat Nadal in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, inflicting the Spaniard’s first defeat as world number one.

“I realised that I was in good shape then, but I lost to someone like Rafa, who’s probably one of the best athletes to ever play tennis (and) I needed to improve that side of my game,” he added.

“It was after Wimbledon I pushed on. I just learnt a lot from the loss to Rafa. I realised I needed to get fitter and stronger. I went away and worked on it.”

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