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I need to get stronger to match Nadal - Andy Murray

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Top players must match Nadal - Murray

By Piers Newbery

British number one Andy Murray says he needs to get physically stronger and improve his game if he is to challenge world number one Rafael Nadal.

The Scot, 23, made a disappointing third-round exit at the US Open, which Nadal went on to win and so complete the career Grand Slam.

"I've got four or five months before the next Slam," Murray told BBC Sport.

"I need to get physically stronger, improve my game and then I'll give myself the chance to beat him."

Murray had gone into the US Open with many predicting he could win his first Grand Slam title after a superb run at the Toronto Masters in the build-up, beating Nadal and Roger Federer on his way to winning the tournament.

I'm still looking into it and trying to find the best person that can help me

Murray on his search for a coach

But a surprise four-set defeat by Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka followed in the third round at Flushing Meadows, with the Briton beset by physical issues that he was unable to explain immediately afterwards.

Murray admits the problems of that day in New York remain something of a mystery, saying: "I don't (know what happened), I've been in very good shape and I haven't felt like that for a very long time and I'll make sure it never happens again.

"I feel fine now. I came back the following day from New York and I've just been chilling out, took some time off. I was away for 10 weeks in the States so it was nice to get home and relax a little bit."

He added: "It was a disappointing end to the American stretch. I obviously had a good start to it and didn't finish particularly well. Physically I wasn't great and that's what I was most disappointed with.

"I've been very strong in that area for the last few years and it let me down a little bit, so I need to make sure I work hard, get myself in great shape again and hopefully I'll give myself another chance."

Murray, the world number four, has been without a coach since sacking Miles Maclagan in July and had been hoping to appoint a replacement before his next tournament in Beijing, which begins on 4 October, but a decision is not imminent.

"(The situation is) the same as it was before the US Open," he said. "I'm still looking into it and trying to find the best person that can help me.

"I'm going to have to be patient with it, take my time a little bit and I'm sure I'll find someone that will help me. I haven't spoken to anybody yet but I've spoken to the guys that I work with and I've spoken to my mum about the people that I might like to work with.

"I've got to try and find out the availability, how many weeks people are willing to do and make the decision based on all the information."

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Murray was the last man to beat Nadal at a Grand Slam with victory in their Australian Open quarter-final in January, a match which saw the 24-year-old Spaniard forced to withdraw because of knee problems when two sets down.

Nadal recovered from that disappointment in spectacular style by going unbeaten through the clay-court season and winning the French Open, Wimbledon - beating Murray in the semi-finals - and a first US Open title to complete the Grand Slam set.

"It's a great achievement," said Murray.

"He's one of the greatest players ever - I've been saying that for a while now - and to me he didn't really prove that at the US Open, it just adds to his resume, and I'm sure he's going to go on to even better things.

"He's achieved everything there is to achieve in tennis with all the Grand Slams, the Davis Cup, he's got Olympic gold - there's not a whole lot left he needs to do but I'm sure he'll win more Slams, more titles, and he deserves to go down as one of the best ever."



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see also
Murray considers coach position
10 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Rafa's rise to world domination
14 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Murray baffled by US Open defeat
06 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Murray makes shock US Open exit
05 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Andy Murray column
04 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Murray sees off Federer in final
15 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Murray through after Nadal injury
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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