Paris - Andy Murray came up short once again against Novak Djokovic but
insists he's in the perfect place with his game and fitness to reclaim his
Wimbledon title next month.
The world number three went down fighting 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 to top
seed Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals on Saturday, his eighth successive
defeat to his old rival.
It ended British hopes of a first finalist in Paris since Bunny Austin in
1937 but it sparked greater optimism in the 28-year-old Murray that a second
Wimbledon title is within his grasp.
"My game is back close to where it needs to be to winning slams,"
said Murray whose Wimbledon reign was ended by Grigor Dimitrov in the
quarter-finals in 2014, a straight sets loss where a bad injury conspired
"Physically I'm back there again, and obviously now with the grass
court season coming up, hopefully I can get myself an opportunity there and
play much better than last year.
"Physically I'm in a much better place. We'll see what happens the next
few months, but it's been a good start to the year."
Against Djokovic, he dominated the third and fourth sets before his momentum
was quashed by the Serb who allowed the Briton just one game in the deciding
In two of their other meetings this year - at the Australian Open and Miami
finals - Djokovic had won the decisive sets 6-0.
"He regroups well during matches," said Murray. "He didn't at
the beginning of his career, and now it's something that he does extremely
well, physically and mentally."
But Murray may still be right to be optimistic after a spring where he won
his first career titles on clay, in Munich and Madrid, with his third career
run to the semi-finals in Paris giving him 15 wins on the surface.
"After Novak, I would say I probably played the best tennis in the
major events, in the slams," said Murray.
"Also in the Masters Series I have been quite consistent in the ones
that I have played. And I won probably more matches to this stage than I have
any other year of my career.
"That's what it feels like. I don't know if that is the case, but
that's what it feels like. That's been positive."
Murray will head to the All England Club with a 2-0 winning record over Djokovic
thanks to his Olympic Games semi-final triumph in 2012 and his Wimbledon title
the following year.
He is 1-1 against Roger Federer in London after taking gold in the Olympics
on Centre Court just weeks after losing the 2012 Wimbledon final.
Of his top three rivals, his record on the Wimbledon grass against Nadal
does not make encouraging reading, losing in 2008, 2010 and 2011.