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Murray: "Djokovic Was Better Physically"

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray was beaten in four sets by Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

“Physically he was better than me in the end,” admitted Andy Murray after losing a brutal four-set contest with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday night at Flushing Meadows.

The Scot, who underwent back surgery nearly 12 months ago, did an intense training block after Wimbledon in an attempt to ready himself for the harsher conditions of the North American summer, but was left flummoxed by unexplained cramps in his first-round match against Robin Haase in New York.

And, when it came to the crunch against Djokovic, under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Murray said he struggled to match the Serb in terms of physicality. 

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“I'd say definitely physically he was fresher, but towards the end I tried to hang in as best I could in the fourth set,” said the Scot. “The pace of my serve slowed significantly towards the end of the third set. Over the course of the match he was a little bit more solid than me.”

Victory for Djokovic in their 21st meeting saw the Serb improve to a 13-8 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Murray. It’s always a physically demanding match-up, explained Murray, more so than his exchanges with Roger Federer

“Physically it's extremely demanding,” said Murray. “We have had a lot of tough battles, mainly in the slams, but even outside of them, as well. We have played some finals in Miami when it's been brutally hot. Finals in Shanghai when it was three hours for three sets. Most of the time when you play against him you need to be on it physically and mentally for a long period of time if you want to beat him.”

Question marks over physicality aside, Murray recognised the high level of tennis he had been able to produce. When the dust settles on his disappointment, the Scot will look to build on that as he works towards hopefully securing one of the elite eight spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

“I played well,” said the Dunblane native. “Especially in the first couple of sets there was some good tennis. It's extremely late. I'm tired. I don't feel particularly proud right now. I feel disappointed. But, I think there was some good tennis. Hopefully I can build on that.”

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