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Andy Murray takes positives from Madrid Open defeat

Andy Murray was able to take some positives out of his Madrid Open campaign even though he failed to progress beyond the third round for the first time in four years in the Spanish capital.

Murray, who won the Madrid title in 2008 when it was on hard court and was a quarter-finalist in the last two years after it switched to clay at La Caja Magica, was knocked out of the singles after losing 6-4 6-2 to unseeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci last night.

Having also suffered a comprehensive first-round defeat with brother Jamie in the doubles, the loss to Bellucci meant Murray was left with just one win from his three competitive matches in Madrid, with that victory being his three-set triumph over Gilles Simon in the second round.

However, having not played since reaching the semi-finals in Monte Carlo last month due to an elbow injury that forced him to miss the Barcelona Open, Murray felt that results in Madrid were not the be-all and end-all for him as he continues his return to full fitness.

"I feel okay. I've definitely felt better but I've progressed a lot the last 10 days physically compared to where I was at this stage last week," said Murray following his loss to Bellucci.

"On Monday and Tuesday last week I was practising for 45 minutes a day and that was it. I built up every single day to be able to play a two and a half hour match yesterday (against Simon) and today (against Bellucci) I didn't play particularly well but that'll come. But I had to try and be patient."

The world number four added: "I've got to look more at the week as a whole. This match wasn't great. I didn't feel like I played particularly well, I started the match okay but didn't really keep that up.

"But I had to be realistic this week. I was coming back from an injury that wasn't serious, but an elbow injury isn't easy for tennis players.

"On Saturday I practised with Rafa (Nadal) and I had to stop my practice early because my elbow was sore.

"I'm happy that physically I progressed, I was hitting the ball decent, I think I can definitely get better, I was a little bit tentative on a few shots.

"But I definitely learned a lot from the last few days because I think in comparison to Monte Carlo where I felt I was dictating a lot of the matches I was playing there, here it wasn't necessarily like that, so that will come with working hard on the practice court and playing more matches.

"I just need to try and be realistic. I'm disappointed just now but I think I did okay."

Murray is heading to Italy today, where tomorrow he will begin his preparations for next week's Rome Masters.