Murray: I didn't help myself against Nadal

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - Day Four

Andy Murray gave an honest assessment of his emphatic defeat against Rafael Nadal at the ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday, saying he was not good enough to beat the resurgent Spaniard.

Nadal moved to the brink of the semi-finals by beating home favourite Murray 6-4 6-1 in an impressive display at the O2 Arena.

Murray overcame Nadal in the Madrid Masters final back in May, but was second best in London as he failed to secure a victory that would have ensured he finishes the year as the world number two for the first time.

Two-time grand slam champion Murray can still qualify for the last four of the season-ending tournament and be assured of closing 2015 ranked second if he beats Stan Wawrinka in his final Group Ilie Nastase match.

Murray noticed a significant improvement in Nadal's play from when he was struggling so badly earlier in the year, but also felt he contributed to his own downfall against the former world number one.

"He obviously played better than he did when I played him earlier in the year," said Murray.

"I think Rafa always practices pretty hard from what I see. Obviously he's won a lot more matches in the second half of the year.

"He's clearly playing better tennis now than a few months ago. Also I didn't help myself out there.

"I served extremely low percentage, maybe lowest percentage I served the whole year in any match. It was like the low 40s, and in the second set like 35 per cent - that's not good enough against someone as good as Rafa."

Murray raised eyebrows when he whipped a pair of scissors out of his bag to trim his hair during the first set, but was bemused when asked if that showed his mind had already strayed to next week's Davis Cup final.

"I don't know why such minor things make such a big deal to you guys," he said.

"I had some hair in my eye and I just wanted to get rid of it. That literally took two seconds. That was it. It was nothing to do with next week or anything to do with the outcome of this match.

"I started the match extremely well, I think. I played a very good first game. Although I got broke in the second game, it was a good game. I was hitting the ball well.

"I held all the way through to four-all from that change of end. It wasn't like it was something that affected me at all after it happened."