Andy Murray will once again lean on Ivan Lendl after joining his coach as a loser of five of his first six grand slam finals.
Murray was remaining upbeat after falling 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2 to world No.1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday night’s Australian Open final at Melbourne Park.
Hindered by blisters and a hamstring strain – undoubtedly scar tissue from his torrid four-hour, five-set semi-final win over Roger Federer 48 hours earlier – the US Open champion was unable to match Djokovic’s remarkable staying powers after the first two sapping tiebreak sets.
But unlike his two previous Open final losses – to Federer in 2010 and Djokovic in 2011 – Murray was anything but demoralised.
“There’s going to be some obvious reasons for me feeling a little bit better,” he said.
“The last few months have been the best tennis of my life. I made the Wimbledon final, won the Olympics, won the US Open.
“I was close here as well. It was close. So I know no one’s ever won a slam, the immediate one after winning their first one. It’s not the easiest thing to do and I got extremely close.
“So I have to try and look at the positives of the last few months, and I think I’m going in the right direction.
“This is the first time I’ve beaten Roger in a slam over five sets. I think I dealt with the situations and the ebbs and flows in that match well.
“I felt much more comfortable on the court today (against Djokovic) than even I did at the US Open, so that has to be a positive.”
Just like Lendl, Murray broke through to win his maiden major after four finals defeats and then lost his next.
If the trend continues, Murray will also lose his seventh grand slam final as well.
Lendl ultimately wound up with eight career majors, including two Australian Open titles and will no doubt know how his charge is feeling.
Murray, though, said it was too soon to dissect his latest big-stage loss.
“He said, `Bad luck’. That’s it,” Murray said.
“There’s no point going into huge detail about the match two minutes afterwards.
“We’ll go away and spend a bit of time apart. When I go to start training over in the States, we’ll discuss not just this match but the start to the year and the things I need to improve on if I want to keep getting better.”