SHANGHAI - US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray says his "big year" makes up for the disappointment of narrowly missing out on titles during this season's Asian swing.
The defending champion agonisingly saw five match points slip away in his Shanghai Masters final against second seed Novak Djokovic in a gripping encounter on Sunday.
It followed a semi-final defeat against Canada's Milos Raonic at the Japan Open the previous week, in which the 25-year-old had also held match points.
For the British world number three, who won the Shanghai Masters in 2010 and 2011, it is a sharp contrast to last year, when he won the Thailand Open, the Japan Open and the Shanghai tournament in a richly rewarding few weeks.
But despite his near-misses, the Scot insisted he was not too frustrated after his 5-7, 7-6 (13/11), 6-3 loss to Serbia's Djokovic, also 25. In a sanguine assessment of his performance, he said the match hinged on tiny margins.
"It was literally the difference of one, two centimetres in winning the match and losing it. You have to put things into perspective. It was obviously a bit frustrating but it was so close and could have had a different outcome," he said Sunday.
Murray last month beat Djokovic in the final of the US Open to win Britain's first men's singles Grand Slam title since the 1930s, just weeks after taking Olympic gold. He said those achievements more than made up for his narrow misses.
"Last year I came away from Asia with three wins. I didn't win a Grand Slam and the Olympics. Kind of a big year. This year I would have signed up for the way I played here and having won the US Open."
Murray, who had previously lost four Grand Slam finals, said he would continue with the positive approach to his game that has served him so well over the past few months, with a long-term aim of getting to number one in the world.
"I need to keep going about it like matches tonight in the same way I have been the last eight, nine months really, being aggressive, going for my shots. Then, hopefully, I'll win more matches than I lose playing that way.
"In terms of getting to number one it's an incredibly hard thing to do and it's not something right now I'm focusing on. I think mathematically this year it is impossible for me to finish number one," Murray said.
"It's something I'll try to achieve at some stage in my career if I can," added Murray, whose highest ranking is number two.
© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse