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Physical game at new level, says Murray

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Originally published on: 27/02/12 13:35

Andy Murray did not see a single ball struck in the final of the Australian Open because he was flying home at the time, but the 24-year-old Scot believes he would have lasted the pace just as well as Novak Djokovic. Having beaten Murray in a semi-final that lasted four hours and 50 minutes, Djokovic went on to beat Nadal two days later in the longest final in Grand Slam history at five hours and 53 minutes.
 
“Fitness is obviously huge for the long matches,” Murray said at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, where he plays his first match tomorrow against Germany’s Michael Berrer. “I would have been fine to have played the final. Obviously you’re not going to be as fresh as you would have been if you had played a three-set match in the semis, but it very often happens that you feel great going into matches but when you start you actually feel a bit sluggish – and sometimes you go in feeling terrible and tired but you feel fine once you get out there and get warmed up a bit.
 
“He [Djokovic] obviously did great to come back and play such a long match again. The physical side of the game is something that I think over the last five or six years has gone to another level. It’s really, really tough now.”
 
Murray resumed his own training a week after the Australian Open. “I find that when I take long periods off my body starts to hurt more,” he said. “I take, like, five or six days and try to do a bit of exercise again. If I take longer than that my body stiffens up and it can sometimes take longer to get back in shape. I took some time off, started doing some rehab work and some core work to try to get my body back to neutral.”

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