Vanquished Scot Andy Murray admits an emotionally draining two weeks meant he started his Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic off the pace.
And that’s one place you can’t afford to be against the all-conquering world No.1.
Murray was distracted by the impending birth of his first child, with his wife Kim at home in London just days away from the due date.
His father-in-law Nigel Sears then collapsed while he was courtside coaching Ana Ivanovic in her third round match and was rushed to hospital.
He recovered but was almost joined by Murray on a flight back to the UK.
And then Murray stayed up in the wee hours the night before the final to watch his brother Jamie win the men’s doubles.
Murray said the off-court distractions had taken their toll.
“A lot’s been going on,” said the world No.2.
“I started the last couple of matches quite slowly, I think, understandable in some respects.
“Obviously it’s not good to begin matches like that against someone like Novak.
“But I’m proud of the way I fought and managed to get myself back into the match and create chances for myself.”
Murray rued a missed opportunity in the second set when from 40-love up, he dropped serve for a fourth time after finishing on the wrong end of a gruelling 36-shot rally.
That allowed Djokovic to go 6-5 and then served out the set for a 2-0 lead.
“The end of the second set, the game I lost 40-love up, was a tough one,” Murray said.
“You know, maybe I could have nicked that set.
“I was starting to have quite a lot of opportunities in the second. I had a few chances there when I got the break back, I think.
“That was a tough game to lose.”
Despite setting a record in losing his fifth Australian Open final – Murray was proud to at least make the decider.
“It was a tough two weeks,” he said.
“I’m proud that I got into this position but now I’m just quite looking forward to getting home now.”