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Nadal backs Murray to eventually win a slam

Novak Djokovic of Serbia (R) reaches out to embrace Andy Murray of Britain after their men's singles semi-final match on day 12 at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early on January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. (credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal feels that Andy Murray is ready to win a maiden slam title

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Rafael Nadal had plenty of words of encouragement for Andy Murray following his semi-final defeat against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. The Spaniard, who will take on Djokovic in Sunday’s final, thinks that the Scot has the makings of a slam champion, and even perhaps a world No. 1.

“He never was very far. That's the true. He's playing well. He always played fantastic. He's unlucky not to win a Grand Slam yet,” said the ten-time slam winner after watching Murray’s semi-final matchup.

“Yesterday he lost another very good opportunity, in my opinion. Because winning two sets to one, winning the third set, probably losing a lot chances, and then winning with 7-6, to win a tournament like this and to play against player like Djokovic, you cannot start the fourth set like this.”

“It's the moment to play with more intensity than ever, not start with 3-Love down and two breaks in five minutes.  That way you lose the match.  You want to win the tournament, you cannot start - you can lose - the other can beat you, but you cannot lose in the beginning.”

“But he's playing well. He's playing fantastic. He deserve to win a Grand Slam. He was unlucky at the end, but the only negative thing for me in his match is the beginning of the fourth. When the other have more doubts, is in really trouble, you make for the opponent easier than what should be, no?  That's my feeling,” added Nadal.

“For the rest, he can be No. 1 at the end of the season. I don't have any doubt on that. The level is there. When you are able to play how many, five Grand Slams in a row playing semifinals or final, it's only a mental thing. The rest of the things are there. He started the season another time playing very well winning a tournament, playing semifinals here, and few points away to win against No. 1 player of the world. He's ready for everything.”

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Nadal backs Murray to eventually win a slam

Rafael Nadal feels that Andy Murray is ready to win a maiden slam title

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