Murray positive after memorable year

Andy Murray insisted he was happy at having played the 'best year' of his career

Andy Murray insisted he was happy at having played the 'best year' of his career

First published in National Sport © by

Andy Murray was defeated but far from downcast as the curtain came down on the season of his life on Sunday night.

The world number three was beaten 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals by defending champion Roger Federer, who will now bid for a third successive title in Monday's final against Novak Djokovic, who was a 4-6 6-3 6-2 winner over Juan Martin Del Potro earlier.

"It was an incredibly positive year," the 25-year-old said. "I would have loved to finish the year on a win, of course. It's been the best year of my career by a mile. So why I would look back on that negatively now would be silly because I've achieved things I've never achieved before."

Murray rather fell away after a great start at London's O2 Arena but could be nothing but positive at the end of a year that brought him both Olympic gold and the US Open title, the first grand slam singles crown for a British man since 1936.

He added: "I wouldn't say whoever wins or loses the match tomorrow will look back on the year with huge disappointment. I think both of them have played really well this whole year and I have to try to view it the same."

Murray went into the clash as many people's favourite against a man who has lost only one match at the O2 since 2009. That came on Saturday against Del Potro when Federer was already through to the semi-finals and he has won more titles - six - and matches than anyone else at the season-ending tournament.

It was all so different at the start on Sunday night as Murray came out firing, breaking Federer's serve in the first game and pushing for a second but Federer dug in and hit back to level at 4-4, and from then on Murray was the one under pressure.

He forced a tie-break but lost an epic point that gave Federer a 6-4 lead, and the champion took his second set point. Murray needed a good start to the second set but was broken from 40-0 in the third game and there never looked like being a way back from there.

"I think he played well," Murray added. "I didn't think it was an incredibly high standard in terms of the length of points. There were a lot of quick points.

"I started the match well. He came back in, got the tie-break. Once he gets ahead he's incredibly hard to stop. He tends to play better and better when he gets up. I feel like I gave him that advantage at the beginning of the second set."

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