Andy Murray feels final two minutes cost him against Novak Djokovic
Andy Murray was left to reflect on what could have been after suffering a three-set defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 7:47am
The British number one took the opening set against the top seed in impressive fashion, only for his opponent to hit back in the next and force a decider.
In the end, there was little to choose between the pair in the third, with the crucial break coming at 5-5. Djokovic successfully served out for the match, putting him 4-3 in front in the head-to-head between the pair in 2012.
"The last two minutes of the match probably is what decided it," Murray, who did beat Djokovic in the final of the US Open, said. "He broke from 15-40, and then I had 15-40 next game and didn't break. So that was the moment that decided the match
"All the matches, especially the last few, have been extremely close and decided by a few points.
"The intensity of my matches with him this year have been extremely high. I think both of us have seen things in each other's game improve, and that's why there are a lot of long rallies."
Djokovic admitted Murray had been simply too good in the opening set - the Scot recorded a break in the very first game at the O2 Arena and dropped just three points on his own serve.
"We really pushed each other until the end. Until the last ball went out I wasn't sure if I was going to win the match," the world No.1 told Sky Sports.
"It could have gone either way. Andy is a great player and it was enjoyable to be part of this match.
"He was too good. In that opening game he played some great shots, then he lost only a couple of points on his first serve throughout ther whole first set."
"I had to be more aggressive on the returns and that changed when I made a break in the second set."
Despite the win, his second of the week in the end-of-season tournament, Djokovic is still not certain of making it through to the semi-finals.
But while a victory for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Tomas Berdych on Wednesday night would see him qualify, the Serbian will not be watching. He instead has bigger plans for his evening - walking his poodle, Pierre.
"I'll just enjoy this victory - I don't want to take part in calculations, I just play every match to win," he added. "I have to walk my dog tonight. That's my primary focus now."
Murray, meanwhile, is still in contention to finish in the top two in Group A - he finishes his round-robin campaign against Tsonga on Friday.