• Australian Open

Murray: Stupid to think I could win

ESPN staff
January 22, 2014
Roger Federer beat Andy Murray in four sets in their quarter-final

Andy Murray insists it would have been "stupid" to consider himself a contender for the Australian Open just four months after back surgery.

Roger Federer beat Murray 6-3 6-4 6-7(6-8) 6-3 in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park. It was only Murray's second tournament since he underwent surgery in September, with just two competitive matches in 2014 under his belt.

"I wasn't expecting to come in and win the event; that would have been completely stupid to think that," he told BBC Sport.

"It's a very tough thing to do playing against Roger at that level, and even if I'd won I would have had to play Rafa [Nadal] in a couple of days.

"I'm happy to be playing at a good level just now and, with a few more matches and a bit of training and working on a few things, I'll hopefully be back to my best at some stage this year. I've come a long way in four months. Obviously right now I'm very disappointed. There's a few things I would have liked to have done differently if I was ever to have surgery again, possibly.

"But it's the first time I have ever gone through something like that. I thought I did a good job getting myself in good shape to be competitive at this level. I wasn't too far away in the end. With a few things that you can tweak here and there, maybe I could have found a few extra per cent.

"It's frustrating because it's basically been four months when I've been lying on my back not being able to move or walk. A lot of work went into this Slam compared with other ones where you have a few weeks to prepare. This time I had a long time to prepare, maybe just not enough matches."

Federer has been in impressive form throughout the tournament, and dominated on serve for the first two sets as Murray struggled.

"I didn't return well enough in the first two sets," said Murray. "He served extremely well. As much as I would have liked to have returned better, he served very well and didn't allow me to do that.

"When I had the opportunities, some second serve returns and stuff, maybe I didn't make him play enough. There's a few points here and there where I hit tapes on returns and missed the shot by a little bit. But he started off the match playing great, great tennis.

"I'm glad I managed to respond and made the match competitive."

Murray - who ended Great Britain's 77-year wait for a male singles champion in 2013 - also admitted that his recovery will not be helped by switching surfaces to clay for the Davis Cup tie against the United States in San Diego later this month.

"It's not perfect for rehabbing after back surgery," he said. "Ideally I'd stay on the same surface."

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