Sport | Tennis

Best year of my career by a mile, says Murray

Semis loss can’t spoil dream year for British champion

  • AFP
  • Published: 12:40 November 12, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • India’s Leander Paes (left) returns as Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek covers during their defeat to India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.
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London: Andy Murray insists his semi-final defeat against Roger Federer at the ATP Tour Finals will not take the shine off a dream year for the world No 3.

Murray bowed out at the semi-final stage of the season-ending event for the third time as Federer produced a superb display to win 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday.

It was a frustrating end to the campaign for the Scot, who had been keen to win the Tour Finals for the first time in front of a British audience.

But the 25-year-old has enjoyed a host of golden moments over the last 11 months and he has no intention of thinking negatively about any part of his 2012 season.

Murray became the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final for 74 years in July and, although that memorable run ended in a tearful defeat to Federer, he used the pain to motivate him to new heights over the following weeks.

First he avenged the Wimbledon final loss to Federer by demolishing the Swiss great on Centre Court to win the Olympic singles gold medal and then he finally ended his long wait for a first Grand Slam title with a dramatic victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

“It was an incredibly positive year,” Murray said. “I would have loved to finish the year on a win of course but that didn’t happen.

“But for me, it’s been the best year of my career by a mile. So why I would look back on that negatively now? That would be silly because I’ve achieved things I’ve never achieved before. If you told me last year I’d be sitting in this position with the results I had last year, I would have agreed and signed up for that straightaway.”

After being accused of playing too passively on the key points in the past, Murray has thrived by taking the attack to opponents more often this year and he admits that more positive approach has been key to his success.

“I think that’s what I have to be most pleased with because when I had opportunities in big matches this year, I did try and take them. I went for it,” he said.

“I’ve been trying to go out there and win matches rather than waiting for my opponent to lose them.”

Murray had no complaints about ending his season with a defeat because he acknowledged that Federer, who has won the Tour Finals six times, is almost impossible to subdue in that mood.

“I think he played well,” he said. “The quality wasn’t that high in terms of the length of points, but once he gets ahead, he’s incredibly hard to stop.

“He tends to play better and better when he gets up. I feel like I gave him that advantage at the beginning of the second set.

“I started the match off very well, playing very aggressive on the return.

“Then I played a poor game to get broken at the start of the second set and he was much better after that.”

Gulf News
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