Andy Murray says his focus suffered as champion Novak Djokovic endured a physical crisis on court
Melbourne: Andy Murray blamed himself after suffering more Melbourne misery at the hands of Novak Djokovic yesterday day, losing the pair's third Australian Open final with a dramatic late collapse.
After the first two sets were split in two hours and 32 minutes, Murray looked to be in command against an apparently ailing Djokovic when he broke for a 2-0 lead in the third.
However, from then on the 27-year-old Scot won just one of the next 13 games as a rejuvenated Djokovic raised his level to secure a fifth Australian Open and eighth grand slam title with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-0 win in three hours and 39 minutes.
"The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping and then I let that distract me a little bit," said Murray, who lost to Djokovic in the 2011 and 2013 finals and to Roger Federer in 2010.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds aloft the Australian Open trophy after beating Britain's Andy Murray in the men's singles final in Melbourne yesterday
Murray said he hoped Djokovic had not been exaggerating the extent of his problems, adding: "He obviously looked like he was in quite a bad way at the beginning of the third set and came back unbelievably at the end of that set. Then the way he was hitting the ball in the fourth and moving was impressive.
'Why did I bother?'
"I'm frustrated at myself for letting that bother me at the beginning of the third set, because I was playing well, I had good momentum, and then just dropped off for like 10 minutes and it got away from me."