Feb 1 2012 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Wednesday
DUNBLANE ace Andy Murray pushed Novak Djokovic to the limit of his powers but went down in five sets to miss out on a place in the Australian Open final.
It was disappointment for the local lad but the near five-hour epic saw him take another step towards that elusive Grand Slam.
The 24-year-old has now reached three major finals and six semi-finals and he fought valiantly against the world number one.
He lost the first set but won the next two, only for Djokovic to win the fourth and take it to a decider.
It looked like the Serb had the match under control when he broke to lead 5-2 but Murray hit back for 5-5.
And he actually had three break points for a 6-5 before his opponent won through.
In the final Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in five sets. The match took almost six hours to become the longest in Grand Slam history.
Murray said afterwards that he is closing the gap on the world's top three.
“My job over the next two or three months is to surpass Djokovic and the guys in front of me,” he added.
“Everybody matures at different ages and different rates. I feel now like I'm ready mentally to challenge the top three.
“Physically I can still get better, for sure, but in comparison to how I played last year it was much, much better.
“Obviously I wanted to win first and foremost but after last year, the year that Novak had, I think there's a very fine line between being number one in the world and being three or four.”
Murray will be back in action at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow on the weekend of February 10-12, when he leads the Great Britain side against the Slovak Republic in a Davis Cup tie.