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Murray calls for major perspective

Andy Murray

On the verge of his fourth Australian Open final, Andy Murray said perspective is key in analysing how successful he has been.

Andy Murray has called for some perspective on his failure to capture an Australian Open title.

Murray, preparing for his fourth final at Melbourne Park, has twice been denied by upcoming opponent Novak Djokovic in Australia, and the Serb stands in his way again on Sunday.

After the 2015 decider, Djokovic and Murray will have met in a major final as many times as Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi did - five - while they still trail contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have played off eight times in grand slam deciders.

Murray said his personal achievements are still worthy of praise, given they have come in an era dominated by Djokovic (seven major titles), Federer (17) and Nadal (14).

If he can win in Australia, he would have ticked off the same boxes as 14-time major winner Sampras, who failed to win at Roland Garros.

"I think obviously it would be a good achievement," a typically understated Murray said, of winning three of the four majors. 

"I know winning any of the slams is a very challenging and tough thing to do. 

"Like I said the other day, winning three of four slams like in this era seems like nothing because of everything that the other guys have done. 

"But it's a very difficult thing to do. 

"So whether I win tomorrow or not, I still feel like my record here has been a good one."

Murray said he actively did not watch Friday's semi-final between Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, but monitored the scores on his phone.

"I didn't watch any of the match last night," Murray said.

"I'll watch some of it this evening and then chat to Amelie [Mauresmo] about it tomorrow. But I haven't watched any of it yet.

He later added: "I'm going to watch the parts of the match that I want to watch this [Saturday] evening, get all of the stats from the match that I think will be beneficial and go over it, just like I have done every other match since I have been here this event. 

"But I didn't really want to sit for three, three and a half hours last night worrying about the match. 

"I'd rather save that for this evening and try and conserve a little bit of energy and mental energy."

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Makarova has nothing to lose - Sharapova

Makarova has nothing to lose - Sharapova

Ekaterina Makarova has nothing to lose in the Australian Open semi-finals, upcoming opponent Maria Sharapova claimed.

Maria Sharapova said she is preparing herself for a free-wheeling Ekaterina Makarova in the Australian Open semi-finals.

Second seed Sharapova dismissed Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena, to advance to the last four at Melbourne Park for the third time in four years.

She set up a semi-final against fellow Russian Makarova, with Sharapova claiming the 10th seed has nothing to lose ahead of their Thursday encounter.

"Well, besides playing another Russian, I'm also facing an opponent that wasn't necessarily a favourite coming into that stage," Sharapova said.

"That's always a tricky situation because she's going to come into that match free and almost happy to be in that situation, and that's dangerous. 

"I haven't faced a lefty in this tournament yet. She's been using her lefty serve extremely well from what I've seen. 

"But I'll be looking out for that, work on a few things tomorrow, and be ready for that match."

Bouchard was typically defiant in defeat, claiming she had higher expectations after bowing out - her first two appearances in Melbourne have been semi- and quarter-final defeats.

"I'm never happy with losing. I wanted to obviously win today, win the tournament," Bouchard said.

"But I feel like I dealt with pressure, outside expectations well. I wasn't really focused on the whole defending [rankings points] thing. 

"I really just tried to block that out of my mind. So I think that helped me get through the first week, get through some matches that could have been tricky. 

"But I always want to do better, especially than the year before. I'm always trying to aim for that."

Bouchard was actively pushing the case to attack Sharapova - especially on return of serve - but it failed to amount to anything, as she landed only 14 of 26 returns in the first set.

"Well, I still wanted to try to kind of go for it. But if I don't have enough time I probably go for riskier shots and that's why I would miss a few more," the Canadian said.

"That's why I think I made a few too many unforced errors today. Just feeling under pressure, feeling I had to go for something. 

"That's what she [Sharapova] does well: she puts pressure on her opponents. 

"But I have to be able to get out of my own way, step in, go for it, and when I get my shorter balls, to really finish the point."

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