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Page last updated at 01:14 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 02:14 UK

Murray vows to learn from defeat

Andy Murray
Murray will rise to a career-high ranking of four in the world despite the defeat

Andy Murray says he has more work to do if he is to go one better than his US Open final defeat by Roger Federer and win a Grand Slam title.

"I know mentally now that I can get to a Slam final, and physically. The only thing it comes down to is the tennis.

"You work harder, you know what things were breaking down, what things need to get better, and you go to work on them.

"I hope that this will be the start of big things for me but I'm going to need to put a lot of work in."

Federer raced to a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory in under two hours, ending Murray's hopes of becoming the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win one of the four major singles titles.

For a brief period in the second set it seemed as though Murray, who climbed to fourth in the world rankings on the back of his run at Flushing Meadows, might trouble Federer, but the Swiss fought back from 0-40 down to hold a crucial service game at 2-2.

It was a particularly heavy blow for the Scot as replays showed that Federer went long with a backhand at 15-40.

"Partly my fault," explained Murray, "I didn't challenge the call."

I wish I could have done a few things better and given myself a few more opportunities

Andy Murray
He added: "Sometimes as a player in the middle of a point, if there's a shot very close to the line, especially on a big point, it's rough to stop the point even when you're still in it just to have a look."

Federer went into the match having had the best part of two days off, while rain interruptions meant Murray had only 24 hours to recover from his semi-final win over Rafael Nadal.

"Ideally I would have preferred to be in his position, but I don't think that was really the reason why he won the match," said Murray.

"If he played like that (and) I was absolutely fresh, I'm sure it still would have been a very tough one for me to win.

"But ideally, yeah, I would have liked to have a day off."

There was no doubt how the 21-year-old felt after suffering defeat in his first Grand Slam final but he was able to reflect on a breakthrough fortnight.

"I'm disappointed right now," he said.

"I wish I could have done a few things better and given myself a few more opportunities but I'm sure tomorrow, after a few days, whenever it sort of sinks in... it's obviously been a very good couple of weeks."

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Murray was full of praise for Federer, who took another step towards sporting immortality by collecting his 13th Grand Slam title to stand just one behind all-time record holder Pete Sampras.

"In the big tournaments, he never has early losses," said Murray. "He's been so dominant in terms of ranking for the last five years, even when I think Nadal might get very close to winning the same amount of Slams as Federer and Sampras.

"I think those five years of dominance, the runs here and at Wimbledon, winning five in a row, and even at the French... he's definitely a better clay-court player than Sampras.

"He's coming up against definitely the best clay-court player of all time in Nadal.

"That's why I think that there's a very strong argument for him being the best player (of all time)."

After a hectic schedule over the North American hard-court season, with a trip to the Olympic Games in the middle, Murray is keen to take a break, but he is clear about where his game has to go for him to take the next step.

"I just want to go relax for a few days and take my mind off tennis and then I'll analyse, because there's a lot of really, really good things these couple of weeks.

"I think the biggest thing for me is that when I'm serving above 65% on the first serves, and hitting them 125mph and above consistently, I'm very, very difficult to break."

And despite the defeat, Murray remained sharp enough to make a joke when asked how he felt about picking up a cheque for US$1m.

"That's about 10, isn't it?" he said.



see also
Reaction to the US Open final
09 Sep 08 |  Tennis
Murray v Federer as it happened
08 Sep 08 |  Tennis
US Open final photos
08 Sep 08 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
19 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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