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Last year's Australian Open the turning point for Murray

ESPN staff
January 12, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Andy Murray says last year's Australian Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic convinced him he had what it takes to win a grand slam.

Murray came agonisingly close to victory before ultimately falling 6-3 3-6 6-7(4) 6-1 7-5 after the pair slugged it out for nearly five hours.

While Djokovic went on to win a third Australian Open title, Murray was left pondering what might have been. But the Scot, who teamed up with coach Ivan Lendl at the beginning of last season, believes that match paved the way for his triumph at the US Open in September.

"I learnt a lot from last year's semi-final," Murray said. "It was a very important match for me in the context of my year. I felt like I played well. There was something I could really take away from it.

"I went about the match the right way. I was taking my chances. I wasn't waiting for him to miss. I was disappointed obviously, but it wasn't frustration. I got over that loss a lot quicker than I had some of my previous slam losses."

Murray, who had lost in four grand slam finals before his victory in New York, admits he is playing with greater freedom now that he has broken his grand slam duck.

"I kind of maybe always felt like I was having to prove something every time I went on the court ... because I hadn't won a slam," he said. "Even when you win a Masters series, people still asked me always about the slams. It's nice not to have to worry about that anymore.

"I think it will help me throughout the rest of the year on the tour because I just won't be worrying and thinking about the slams all the time. I can focus on all of the events."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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