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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 16:29 GMT
Murray thrilled by brave display
Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal
Murray and Nadal were full of mutual admiration after the match
Andy Murray believes his performance in losing to world number two Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open fourth round was the best of his career.

The Scot lost in five sets but said his display was superior to the one he gave in beating Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Masters last year.

"It was probably the best I have ever played, probably better than when I beat Federer last year," he said.

"I learnt that I could hit a lot harder than I thought I could, consistently."

The 19-year-old had looked on course for the biggest victory of his career in the fourth round in Melbourne.

He faded in the final set to lose 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1, but said he had been pleased with the way he had stood up to Nadal's ferocious groundstrokes.

"I made some unforced errors but I learnt that at a Grand Slam I can play against the top players. I felt like I really played well," he said.

"I'm definitely not disappointed. I'm happy at the way I felt physically, that my body held up. I've always wanted to play in a night match like that."

Murray also paid tribute to the resilience of Nadal who battled his way back into the match after losing the first and third sets.

Andy's a great player playing at an unbelievable level

Rafael Nadal

"The guy mentally is really tough. There aren't many things he can do better," said Murray.

"He has everything. I felt some of the points out there tonight, by both of us, were unbelievable.

Nadal, who faces Fernando Gonzalez in the quarter-finals, said Murray's performance marked him out as a player of the highest calibre.

"It was very tough and he's a great player, he's playing at an unbelievable level," said Nadal.

"It was a very important match for me. I needed a match like this against a big player, it was very tough, so I am very happy.

"I feel good physically. He had a lot of chances at the beginning of the fifth set and I was trying to fight for every point so I could win.

"Andy played with very good tactics."

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