Andy Murray to endure sleepless nights after Australia Open exit, says Boris Becker
Last Updated: 24/01/17 1:49pm
Andy Murray will endure some sleepless nights after spurning the chance to win his first Australian Open title, according to Novak Djokovic's former coach Boris Becker.
Murray was the clear favourite following Djokovic's early exit but the Scot tumbled out in the fourth round on Sunday to world number 50 Mischa Zverev.
He may never get a better chance to end his Melbourne drought, with Djokovic struggling for form and the emerging generation yet to fully blossom.
And it leaves the men's draw hard to predict with Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all well-placed to capitalise.
"It's a tough loss for Andy," said Becker, a two-time Australian Open champion.
"After an amazing finish to last year, he was the clear-cut favourite when the tournament started.
"That's a tough pill to swallow but Andy is a toughie, he will find a way to recover, but he's going to have a sleepless night or two.
"It's really open now - already after the Djokovic loss everyone thought 'it's my year now'. After the Murray loss I think everybody else in the tournament feels that they have the chance to win it.
"That's new, that hasn't happened in many years and maybe that's good for tennis."
Murray has lost five times in the Australian Open final but the world number one bristled when asked if his latest loss represented a missed opportunity.
"Did I miss an opportunity? I don't know," Murray said. "Every year you come is a different chance, a different opportunity.
"I mean, still, even had I got through the match, Roger is waiting. Stan's still in. Guys like (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga.
"You've got Roger plus three guys that are pretty much in the top 10 in the world in my half. There's certainly no guarantees, even if I got through today's match, that I would have gone further.
"Yeah, it's disappointing to lose, but I don't feel like this is any more of an opportunity than other years."
Britain could have had two men in the Australian Open quarter-final of the singles for the first time in 40 years but instead there were none after Dan Evans also bowed out to Tsonga.
Evans had seen off Marin Cilic and Bernard Tomic, world number seven and 27 respectively, to make his first grand slam fourth round but beating Tsonga proved a step too far.
The British number three's run came on the back of reaching the final in Sydney earlier this month and means he is set to climb from 51st in the rankings to 45th.
"I think last week proved playing the good guys, then coming here, it improves your game massively. It does for me," Evans said.
"To be honest, I'm looking forward to the whole year playing those tournaments week in, week out. It's what I wanted to do.
"I don't plan on dropping down to play in any Challengers. I want to stay up there and see what I can do. It's just better, isn't it, to test yourself against those guys?
"I played some great players this week on some good courts. That's the main reason I play tennis, is to get that sort of buzz."
Evans will now turn his attention to Britain's Davis Cup match against Canada at the start of February. Murray is still considering whether to play in the tie.
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