Andy Murray takes positives from defeat to Andrey Rublev in Mubadala World Tennis Championship final
Andy Murray believes he has greater clarity in how he will approach his matches next year after taking the positives from reaching the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
Murray was denied a third title at the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, having won in 2009 and 2015, after being outgunned by Andrey Rublev, who prevailed 6-4 7-6 (2) on Saturday evening.
"It was a good week for me," said Murray, who has had two major hip operations. "It was good to see where my body's at playing three days in a row at that sort of intensity and I learned quite a lot across the three matches.
"Certainly some things improved as the week went on and there were a few things (against Rublev) that maybe in the other matches I maybe got away with. Certainly some things for me to work on but overall it was good."
Murray, who is spending a trial period with German coach Jan De Witt having split from long-time advisor Jamie Delgado last week, started well against Rublev but a break in the fifth game proved decisive in the first set.
Murray dropped serve at the start of the second set but was granted an unexpected foothold back into the contest when Rublev doubled faulted three times in the eighth game and, from 4-2 ahead, the Russian fell 5-4 behind.
But Rublev quickly rediscovered his composure, twice holding serve to avoid losing the set and he ensured there would be no decider in a one-sided tiebreak as the former world number one's challenge faltered.
But Murray said: "I feel like now I'm a lot clearer in my mind about how I want to play and the way I'm going to go about my matches in the next year. Decision-making comes from having a clear mind about the way you want to play.