Dejected Murray vows to improve
Andy Murray has vowed to bounce back a stronger player for his shock US Open exit, better equipped to give him the best possible chance of winning a grand slam.
The 22-year-old British world number two had been tipped by many experts including John McEnroe and Andre Agassi to improve on last year's progression to a first grand slam final at Flushing Meadows and end Roger Federer's five-year dominance of the last major of the season.
Yet Murray fell short at Flushing Meadows, comprehensively beaten in straight sets by 20-year-old Marin Cilic, the 16th seed from Croatia. He lost 7-5 6-2 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the form that had taken to him five ATP Tour titles in 2009, four of them on hard courts, deserting the Scot at the worst possible time.
"I'm disappointed," Murray said. "I don't know how long or how quickly it will take me to get over it but I played well in the summer. I had a good grass court season.
"This hasn't been a bad hard court season. Just today was not good.
"So I'm going to be disappointed, but I'll have to go and work on some things.
"I'll go sit down with the guys that I work with and see what went well this whole year and what didn't go so well, and work as hard as I can on it to be ready to win a slam in Australia (in January).
"I think that next year I've got a very, very good chance of doing it.
"I think I'll be a better player next year than this year, and hopefully I'll do that."
Having had so much success so far in 2009, winning titles in Doha, Rotterdam, Miami, Queen's Club and Montreal, Murray refused to let his surprise defeat to Cilic cloud his overall verdict on the campaign to date.
"It's been a very good season. I don't think I could say it's been anything less than that," he said.
"I improved my results at Wimbledon and at the French Open. Here was worse, and the same result in Australia. I equalled my best result in Australia.
"I guess it's been a good season. It could have been better in the slams, but the rest of the season has gone well.
"I have to make sure I work on my game a lot to make sure that when I go into the slams next year and the beginning of the year I'm ready to win one."
In the meantime, Murray, who denied a left wrist injury had led to his poor performance against Cilic, said he hoped to be fit for this month's Davis Cup tie, when Great Britain host Poland in a Europe/Africa Group One relegation play-off at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
"I plan on playing just now. I'll see what I do from here," he said. "Go and take a few days off, I've been over in the States now a good six and a half, seven weeks.
"So I will go home and rest and make sure I do all the right things and hopefully be okay."
As to the specifics of the injury, which had Murray wincing in pain during some changeovers, the world number two declined to share the diagnosis he had been given.
"I will try not to discuss injuries, as I leave it to my doctors and physio to let me know what I should be doing with it and how much I should be playing and how much time I need to take off.
"I'm not going to give out any details."
Murray, though, was more candid about his performance in going down to Cilic.
"Sometimes if you play badly you don't find a way back into the match," he said. "Sometimes that can happen. I don't think I'm perfect.
"Sometimes when you play badly, you just don't have a way back in.
"If you look at the way that he struck the ball from the first set to the end of the third set, he started to play a lot, lot better.
"My game wasn't up to scratch, and it's unfortunate. Sometimes in individual sports that can happen.
"That's the tough thing about it. You don't have any other players or anyone to hide behind and cover for you. You have to take responsibility yourself. I just didn't play well enough."
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