Andy Murray steps up Davis Cup bid with clay sessions

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Andy Murray will begin his preparations for the Davis Cup final on Monday after once again coming up short against Novak Djokovic in the final of the Paris Masters.

The British number one's 6-2 6-4 defeat was his 10th loss in his last 11 matches against the ever-more-dominant world number one, who clinched his 10th title of the season.

Djokovic will turn his attentions to successfully defending his ATP World Tour Finals title in London, with that event starting this coming weekend.

But Murray has other matters to attend to before focusing on the tour showpiece.

With the Davis Cup final against Belgium in Ghent beginning only five days after the end of proceedings at the O2 Arena, the Scot wants to ensure he has had plenty of clay-court practice.

He will head to Queen's Club to train on the surface with British number two Aljaz Bedene - who will find out if he is eligible for the final at an International Tennis Federation hearing on November 17 - and will not begin preparations for the Tour Finals until Friday.

Murray ended a run of eight consecutive losses to Djokovic in Montreal this summer but was comprehensively beaten in the semi-finals in Shanghai last month and it was a similar story in Paris.

His record against Djokovic now stands at nine wins from 30 meetings, while he has lost his last five clashes against Roger Federer.

Murray told a press conference in Paris: "Since the beginning of last year, my results against him (Djokovic) and Roger, from my perspective, haven't been good enough.

"Those two are two of the greatest players of all time, so there is no disgrace in losing to them. But I do feel like I need to start doing better in those match-ups, because the scoreline in the last couple of matches there hasn't been good."

The good news for Murray is he will be seeded second at the O2 for the first time, meaning he could avoid both Djokovic and Federer in the group stages.

The 28-year-old has only made the semi-finals twice since the event moved to London in 2009 and last year was humiliated 6-0 6-1 by Federer.

Djokovic was playing on Sunday in his 14th consecutive final - a record for a single season - and now has 22 straight match wins, having not lost since the final in Cincinnati in August.

The Serbian, who will be bidding for a fourth straight title at the O2 Arena, said: "I'm hoping that I can repeat the kind of performances and success I have had there in previous years.

"I like the conditions there. The crowd is great. The attendance is amazing. It's a great stage for the tennis tournament. Hopefully I can finish off the season with another great win."


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