'I want to be with my girlfriend, chill out and forget about this'

Defeated finalist hints at taking some time out of the game before paying tribute to 'unbelievable' Djokovic

It was hard for Andy Murray to take any positives from his defeat in yesterday's Australian Open final, but after two months away from home, firstly training in Miami and then playing here in Australia, he is looking forward to "doing all the normal stuff I like doing" after arriving back in Britain tomorrow.

"Right now I'm disappointed, but I'm looking forward to spending time at home," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back to seeing friends, family, my dog. Tennis is obviously a lot of fun and I'm very lucky to be playing it, but I enjoy the other parts of life as well."

Murray is scheduled to play in an indoor tournament in Rotterdam next week, but after his experience last year, when he played poorly in the aftermath of his Australian Open final defeat to Federer, he may decide to take a break from playing. "I don't have to play until Indian Wells and Miami [in March]," he said. "If I'm enjoying myself back home then I won't start training again, because last year I went through the motions a bit and that's not the way to move forward.

"When I'm training, the preparation we do is all about giving me the best opportunity to win the tournament. As soon as it's done, guys like Federer have family at home and don't want to think about tennis. You don't want to go on the practice court. I want to spend time with my girlfriend, chill out and get away from the court."

Murray admitted he had been below his best in the final but gave credit to his opponent. "I thought Novak played unbelievably well," he said. "I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour if he played like that tonight. He served well, he didn't make many mistakes from the back of the court, he moved really, really well and he hit the ball very cleanly.

"He defended unbelievably well. When I got ahead in some games and points he was sticking up lobs that were landing on the baseline or hitting passing shots very close to the lines. It was quite difficult to find parts of the court where I was getting free points from. I think I broke his serve maybe twice in the third set and still lost it 6-3.

"I started trying to go for my shots more as the match went on. At the beginning both of us were trying to feel each other out a little bit. As you work your way into the match, you start to find patterns and go for your shots more. I started taking more chances and managed to break serve a few times, but I wasn't able to keep it up for long enough."

Murray felt that reaching another Grand Slam final was an achievement in itself and said he would keep trying to improve in order to reach his goal of winning one of the majors. "Of course I want to win one, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I'm just working as hard as I can."

Djokovic, who thought the extra day he had to prepare had been important, felt the turning point had been the last game of the first set. "We had some incredible exchanges from the baseline, long rallies, and some passing shots that turned the match around," he said. "I had to step in. That was the key. When I had the chance to step in and try to move him around the court, that's what I did."

The world No 3 said he was sure Murray would win a Grand Slam title soon. "He's a very talented player and a hard worker. He's been in three finals and he just needs to make that final step. Of course, it's not easy. You could see his frustrations tonight, because he felt he had his chances, but it's a learning process. It wasn't easy for me, either. I know how he feels."

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