Melbourne, 31 January 2011 | AAP
Andy Murray is considering taking some time out from tennis to clear his tortured mind after his latest Grand Slam final flop.
Murray’s crushing 6-4 6-2 6-3 Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic on Sunday night left the shattered Scot none from three in major finals.
Worse still, he has lost all three in straight sets – having also been trounced by Roger Federer in last year’s Open final plus the 2008 US Open decider.
While the UK press mostly lamented his inability to finally end British men’s tennis’s 75-year grand slam hoodoo, The Sun savaged the 23-year-old’s lame performance under the headline: “Murray’s mind is slam shut”.
“Rage and frustration were etched all over Andy Murray’s face as he once again came up not just short but miles off in his attempt to become the first Briton to win a grand slam since Fred Perry in 1936,” the tabloid’s editorial piece said.
“Murray won just nine games in all as he was brutally swept aside.
“But it was the manner in which Murray’s game disintegrated in the second set which is the greatest cause for concern.
“It was not so much a physical collapse as a mental one.”
England’s four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman said: “This is going to hang over Andy’s head for some time.”
Murray himself admitted the constant batterings on the sport’s biggest stages were starting to take their toll.
The world No.4 said he probably needed to get away from the game for a while.
“Tennis is a lot of fun, I am very lucky to be playing it but I enjoy the other parts of life as well,” he said before departing Melbourne Park empty-handed once again.
“Right now I am disappointed. I’ve been away since the week after the tour finals. It’s a long time. I’m looking forward to getting back to seeing friends, family, my dog, doing all the normal stuff I like doing.
“That’s what I need to do – everyone would if they had been away for so long.
“I don’t have to play until Indian Wells (starting on March 10) and Miami (March 23). If I am enjoying myself back home, then I won’t start training again, because last year I went through the motions a bit and that is not the way to move forward.
“I want to spend time with my girlfriend, chill out and get away from the court.”
Murray dropped just two sets en route to the final, but virtually rolled over after Djokovic won a tight opening set.
“I look at the tournament as a whole and it was excellent,” Murray said.
“I don’t think anyone would say reaching a slam final is bad. It’s a very, very good achievement.
“But, obviously, I would have liked to have gone one step further.
“I could have played better. I’m going to need to improve.
“I lost in straight sets again, so I’m going to need to get better.”