Melbourne - Andy Murray admitted he got distracted by Novak Djokovic's injuries in their Australian Open final Sunday, but played down suggestions the Serb was faking them to throw him off his game.
The Serbian world No 1 won the gruelling Melbourne decider 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-0, with Murray having to wait another year to end his demoralising run in the final.
The feisty Scot has now made the final at Melbourne Park four times in six years and lost them all.
Djokovic is his nemesis in Australia, beating him in three of his four losses in 2011, 2013 and now 2015, although he mastered the Serb in his two major triumphs at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon.
Sunday's defeat also deprived him of the chance to become the first Briton since Fred Perry in 1934 to lift the Australian trophy.
The Serb hurt his thumb when he fell in the first set then appeared to twist his ankle in the second set and again in the third. He seemed to struggle briefly but them bounced back strongly.
Murray was bombarded with questions in his post-match media conference on whether he felt Djokovic was putting it on to distract him.
He denied this but admitted it affected his concentration in the third set.
"The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he fell on the ground after a couple of shots," he said.
"It appeared that he was cramping, and then I let that distract me a little bit."
Pressed on whether he thought it was a deliberate tactic to put him off his game, he replied: "I don't know. I don't know. I have no idea.
"I mean, it's obviously what he thinks. I would hope that that wouldn't be the case.
"But if it was cramp, how he recovered from it, that's a tough thing to recover from and play as well as he did at the end.
"So, yeah, 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 10 minutes and it got away from me."
Despite the loss, Murray will move up to fourth in the ATP world rankings from his current sixth when they are announced on Monday and he said he took positives from the tournament.
"There's been a great couple of weeks compared with where I was a couple of months ago," said Murray, who is now being coached by two-time French major champion Amelie Mauresmo.
"It's like night and day really. Playing way better in almost every part of my game. Moving better. Physically, I feel better, more confident, more belief.
"Mentally I felt much, much stronger than I did at the end of last year and during the majors last year.
"So for me a lot of positives. Novak has won five times here now. There's no disgrace obviously in losing to him."