Surprise Djokovic exit has little impact for Murray


Novak Djokovic's Australian Open exit surprised Andy Miurray, but the top seed says it does not change anything in his pursuit of a fourth grand slam title.

The six-time champion departed at the hands of Denis Istomin on Thursday, the Serbian unable to turn a 2-1 lead into victory.

Rafael Nadal called the result "an accident" for Djokovic and Murray agrees it is more a blip from his close rival than the start of a worrying decline.

"Yeah, obviously [I was] surprised," he told a media conference after his third round win over Sam Querrey.

"But compared with, like, most players, it's not been that bad really. Obviously I think for him the early loss at Wimbledon and here would be disappointing. He'd want to play his best in the majors.

"But he still won the Masters Series in Canada. He was in the final at the US Open. He was in the finals of the [ATP] Tour Finals. He beat four or five top-10 players in the Tour Finals. He won the tournament in Doha last week.

"He has played some really good stuff over the last six or seven months, too. It's just not been, you know, as consistent as what it was the three years before. But how anyone is expected to keep up that level for their whole career, it's just unreasonable to expect that of anyone.

"There's been, yeah, a couple of surprising results, for sure. But on the whole, it's not been that bad."

He added: "For me, it doesn't change anything unless I was to potentially reach the final, because I can't play Novak in the fourth round or in the third round. Don't worry about that really.

"Obviously, if you're to get to the final, then it has an effect. A lot of the times when I've been in the final here, I've played against him. Had some tough ones."

Unlike Djokovic, Murray cruised past Querrey in straight sets on Friday, the world number one showing no signs of an ankle problem as he eased to a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win in two hours to set up a clash with Mischa Zverev.

"I thought I did pretty good today," said the world number one. "The start of the match was hard.

"Sam came out serving big. He was really going for his shots. Yeah, the end of that first set was important. He had a break point at 4-3. When I saved that and broke the next game, momentum was with me. [I] started to serve a bit better, put a lot more returns back in play after that. Played some good stuff.

"It [his ankle] feels really good. It was sore [on Thursday] and a little bit stiff [on Friday] morning. But it feels good. 

"After the first few games, where I was maybe slightly hesitant, I moved really well towards the end of the first set, and second and third set. So that was really good."