Past defeats mean nothing, says determined Murray

MELBOURNE: Andy Murray said his past disappointments would have no bearing on Sunday’s title match against Novak Djokovic as he looks to end a run of four near-misses by finally winning the Australian Open.

Murray admitted he was the firm underdog against five-time champion Djokovic, who has beaten him three times in the Melbourne Park final in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Murray also lost to Roger Federer in 2010.

The world number two has ridden a roller coaster at this year’s tournament, distracted by his wife’s pregnancy and the collapse of his father-in-law Nigel Sears at Rod Laver Arena, which prompted him to consider pulling out.

Despite the difficulties, and his string of disappointments in the Melbourne final, the Scot said he believes in his chances of stopping Djokovic claiming a record-equalling sixth Australian Open win.

“I don’t think many people are expecting me to win on Sunday,” Murray said. “I have to just believe in myself, have a solid game plan, and hopefully execute it and play well.

“But the previous disappointments, it’s one tennis match. Doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past really. It’s about what happens on Sunday.”

While Murray is attempting to become the first man in the post-1968 Open era to win the Australian Open after losing four finals, Djokovic has been sweeping all before him.

The Serb, who fell just one win short of a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015, demolished 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in a sublime semi-final featuring two spellbinding opening sets.

But Murray is focusing on what he has to do to deny Djokovic, who is seeking an 11th Grand Slam title to draw level with tennis greats Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg on the all-time list.