Does Andy Murray still have the will to win?
After yet another Grand Slam disappointment, the player seems to have accepted his fate
When he lost the final of the 2010 Australian Open to Roger Federer, a sobbing Andy Murray was inconsolable. Yesterday, after defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic, the Briton appeared to have made peace with the idea that he might never win a Grand Slam - a worrying sign for British tennis fans.
After the disappointment of 2010 Murray went into a tailspin and could barely win a match for months afterwards. This time he is obviously trying to keep things in perspective and remain positive, despite losing his third major final in straight sets.
The likes of Roger Federer and Djokovic himself have regrouped and gone on to further glory after suffering setbacks in their careers, but for all the swearing and self-chastisement on court, Murray now cuts an almost disinterested figure off it. It suggests the 23-year-old is settling into the role of runner-up.
Asked after the final if the thought of winning a Grand Slam kept him awake, he replied: "It's not something that I lose sleep over.
"I want to try and win one, of course, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," he went on. "I'm just working as hard as I can. I train very hard. You know, I take tennis very seriously.
"But I love my life away from tennis, as well. That's why maybe this year, compared with last, I'm very, very happy off the court. I'm enjoying myself. There's other things to look forward to, too."
Since last year Murray has been reunited with his girlfriend Kim Sears and his life appears more settled off the court.
But, to use a tired cliche, could he now be operating within his comfort zone? He no longer has a proper full-time coach, although he lists his best friend Dani Vallverdu in that position and works with Alex Corretja during the clay-court season. He also has career earnings of $14m.
On Sunday he said: "Anyone who played in three finals would have loved to have won one but I haven't. I just need to keep working hard and try and do it. But, yeah, I would have preferred to have won one than lost three."
Those do not appear to be the words of a man who will not rest until he has fulfilled his destiny – even if Sue Barker describes Murray as the most "driven competitor" she has met.
Barker is among those who believe the British media's desire for Murray to succeed imposes an extra burden, one that is not felt by the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
"We are so consumed with wanting a Grand Slam title," she said. "And that has to have an effect on him."
Taken at face value, Murray's comments on Sunday could suggest that, in trying to cope with his own disappointment and the pressure on him to succeed, he is losing his will to win. ·
Comments are now closed on this article