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Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Sunday, 31 January 2010

Andy Murray 'hungry' for first Slam after Federer loss

Andy Murray
Murray's next chance at a Grand Slam title comes at the French Open

Andy Murray said his desire to win a Grand Slam title remained undimmed by defeat at the Australian Open.

The Briton lost 6-3 6-4 7-6 (13-11) to Roger Federer in Sunday's final.

"I'm hungry to win one," said the 22-year-old Scot. "I haven't since I was 16, 17 years old when I started playing the junior Grand Slams.

"I worked really, really hard to try to do it and give myself the opportunity. So far it's not been good enough but I'm sure one day it will be."

Murray won the US Open junior title in 2004 but has now lost in two major finals, with Federer also his conqueror at Flushing Meadows in 2008.

"When it comes, maybe because of the two losses it will be even better," Murray added.

To have the opportunity to play in these tournaments, in these matches, is pretty incredible in the grand scheme of things

Andy Murray

Although he lost in straight sets, Murray had his chances in Sunday's final but could convert only two of eight break points and he missed five set points in the third set tie-break, having earlier served for the set.

Murray was close to tears during the presentation ceremony and he admitted to being disappointed at letting so many chances slip by.

"I wanted to win the tournament," he added. "I think it was more the way the end of the match finished. Obviously it was a pretty emotional end to the match.

"If it was a complete blow-out, if I lost 3, 4, and 2, it probably wouldn't have happened. But I had my chance to get back into the match. That was probably why I was upset."

Before the final, Federer was accused of playing mind games when he said all the pressure was on his younger opponent, but the world number one said the meaning of his words was "exaggerated" and he was "convinced" Murray would break his duck.

"It's not an easy thing to do to win your first Grand Slam. That's not trying to screw with his head, you know. It's just a tough thing," he said.

"The next one is not going to get any easier, but his game is so good that I'm convinced he will win one.

"He has got everything you need to beat the best and to win big tournaments. I think he's extremely strong in his mind, and I just feel like he's got the game to do it. The question is just when."

Murray had beaten Federer six times in 10 matches going into the final but the Swiss star raised his level yet again when it mattered to extend his record haul to 16 Grand Slam titles.

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"I think his level is a lot more consistent in the Slams," said Murray. "Maybe in the other tournaments he tries a few more things out.

"But the shots that he hits great all year round, they're still great, he just makes fewer unforced errors I think than he does the rest of the year."

Murray's defeat means that the 74-year-wait for a British male Grand Slam singles champion, and a successor to Fred Perry's US Open triumph of 1936, goes on.

But the Scot insisted he had not felt the weight of expectation during the final in Melbourne.

"I didn't feel it on the court," he said. "You get a lot of good luck messages, everyone wishing you well from back home. That's obviously nice.

"Once you get on the court, it's not what you're thinking about at all. And then obviously after the match I would have liked to have done it for everyone back home - for myself and for the people I work with as well, but it wasn't to be."

Murray's next opportunity to break his Grand Slam duck will come at the French Open in May, and he is optimistic of having a good run at Roland Garros despite clay being his least favourite surface.

"Last year I played a lot better on clay but I need to make sure my preparation's right for the French Open to give myself a chance," he said.

"(I need to) make sure I have enough training weeks because there's still a lot of things I need to learn to play my best on clay.

Henman and Becker on the Aussie Open final

"But you never know. Robin Soderling made the final last year, no-one was really expecting that."

And despite the obvious disappointment, Murray was able take a wider view as he reflected on a second Grand Slam final defeat.

"To have the opportunity to play in these tournaments, in these matches, is pretty incredible in the grand scheme of things," he said.

"I'm not going to be too disappointed. I've got a pretty good life, I've got a long career ahead of me and I'm going to have more opportunities to win them.

"I hope that I will, but if I don't there's a lot more important things to worry about than tennis."



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see also
Murray rises to third in rankings
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Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
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Federer enjoys 'best performance'
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Murray v Federer as it happened
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Murray v Federer photos
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Murray fans glued to Open final
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Federer piles pressure on Murray
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Federer win sets up Murray final
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Murray's route to final pictures
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Murray powers into Aussie final
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Superb Federer ends Murray dream
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Tennis on the BBC
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