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Murray offers no excuses for exit

Murray refuses to make excuses for his fourth round exit

Andy Murray refused to make excuses after crashing out of the Australian Open in the fourth round to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

The Scot admitted to feeling unwell before his last match but stressed that was not the reason for his defeat.

"I gave myself the best chance to win," he said. "I don't think it came down to a physical thing why I lost.

"If I say that I'm sick and it affected me, I know it's going to be like, 'well he's making excuses for losing'."

The 21-year-old focused instead on the errors in his own game and the strength of Verdasco's, particularly his serve.

BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese

The Spaniard landed 74% of his first serves, with that figure hitting an astonishing 93% in the fourth set.

"If you're sick, there's some things you can't do as well as you might like but you just have to deal with it," Murray reflected.

"I don't feel that was the reason why I lost. I definitely did have my chances but he played too well.

"He served huge. He started serving like, 215 kph-plus (134 mph) on a lot of his first serves.

"I didn't play my best but sometimes you've just got to say too good, and he played better than me."

The 2-6 6-1 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat is Murray's first of 2009, ending a fantastic run which saw him beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to be installed as the bookmakers' favourite heading into the tournament.

It's not a disaster because I'm still playing well and I'll have more chances to win Grand Slams

Andy Murray

Verdasco, though, had also been on an encouraging run of form, which began when he won the decisive match in Spain's Davis Cup win over Argentina in December.

The left-hander, who had lost his previous five matches against Murray, spent the off-season working with Andre Agassi's former trainer Gil Reyes in Las Vegas before reaching the final in Brisbane.

"I think that that Davis Cup final made me much stronger mentally," he said.

"So today, I was really believing in myself that I can win the match. That's so important to believe in yourself."

Murray hit the back page of an Australian newspaper over the weekend under the headline: "Can he do it? Yes he can".

But the 21-year-old denied he had been affected by the hype surrounding his bid to end Britain's 73-year wait for a men's singles Grand Slam champion.

"It didn't make a whole lot of difference to me.

"For me, I play the match and if I'm the favourite to win, whatever, I play the same as I am when I'm the underdog.

"I give 100% in all my matches and if I lose, I lose. If I win, I win."

Murray still making good progress - Castle

Murray spoke optimistically of his determination to continue his good form and keep aiming for the top prizes.

"For me it's not a disaster because I'm still playing well and I'll have more chances to win Grand Slams," he added.

"I'll go and speak to my coach, the guys that I work with, and see if there's things that I could have done better, things that I can improve.

"I've got a couple of tournaments indoors now, at Rotterdam first (starting on 9 February) and I've played well indoor in the past and hopefully I can do the same now."

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see also
Murray wins respect in defeat
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray sent crashing by Verdasco
26 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray cruises to win over Melzer
24 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray cruises into third round
22 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray through as Pavel retires
20 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
19 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
07 Jan 09 |  Tennis

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