Andy: I Need To Do Better Against Novak & Roger
Andy Murray has been a force on the ATP World Tour in 2015, turning in arguably his most complete season, but the Scot has targeted a key area of improvement to take his game to the next level: consistent success against Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Murray reached the semi-finals in seven of eight Masters 1000 events entered, advancing to his first final appearance at the BNP Paribas Masters this week before falling to Djokovic on Sunday. He will look to finish as the year-end World No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time, needing a strong run on home soil at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Standing in his path is current No. 2 Federer.
The Scot admitted he needs to consistently step up his game against his two rivals in order to break through. "Obviously this year [Novak's] level has been incredible," said Murray following the Paris final. "Since the beginning of last year, my results against him and Roger, from my perspective, haven't been good enough. I need to do better in those matchups.
"It's harder playing against the best players. Those two are two of the greatest players of all time, so there is no disgrace in losing to them. But I do feel like I need to start doing better in those matchups, because the scoreline in the last couple of matches there hasn't been good."
A six-time finalist on the ATP World Tour this year, Murray has hoisted trophies on all three surfaces and eclipsed the 60-match wins threshold for just the second time in his career (2009). Despite succumbing to Djokovic in Paris, he acknowledged the confidence he gets from his strong run of form.
"[In Shanghai], I played excellent tennis against Berdych and against Steve Johnson, I also felt like I played really well. Here, the same thing. Apart from maybe the match against Gasquet, which was a little bit patchy, I played some really good tennis against some tough, tough players.
"Today, again, I would have liked to have done better, but getting to the finals of a Masters 1000 is good. It's not like it's a bad result, but I would like to have done better today."
Murray will be seeded second at the season finale at The O2 in London, having qualified for an eighth successive year. He reached the semi-finals on three occasions, in 2008, '10 and '12.