World number two Roger Federer conceded he was always chasing the match during his five-set loss to Andy Murray on Friday.
The Swiss star was below his imperious best in the Australian Open semi-final, conceding six break points and hitting 60 unforced errors as he exited the tournament in the last four for the third year in a row.
While he battled hard to stay with Murray, winning two tie-breakers to force a fifth set, the Scot always appeared to have the impetus, and eventually ran out a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 winner.
Speaking afterwards, 17-time grand slam winner Federer admitted he was second best for much of the night.
"Obviously I was down in the score basically from the start. Definitely it was more of a chase, you know. I was able to level it a couple of times," Federer said.
"I think it was a tough match. I think I had my chances a little bit. Obviously you're going to go through a five-setter with some regrets, you know.
"But overall ... I think Andy was a bit better than I was tonight. I had to find my range a little bit early on, and then adjust my game style as well, the way I was playing.
"So he did a good job of getting me there. But I was hoping to do a bit better, but overall obviously I'm pretty pleased with the tournament. I played good tennis. I'm moving well and was fit in the ten sets I played, the last two matches.
"I'm upbeat about the tournament, but obviously it's disappointing ... going out in five. You know, it's not the first time it's happened here."
After pegging Murray back twice in tie-breakers, Federer had no answer to the 25-year-old at the start of the fifth set, with the world number three racing out to a 3-0 lead.
Although acknowledging that Murray did well during this period, Federer refused to concede it was the turning point of the match, pointing to his opponent's ability to fashion more chances throughout as the catalyst to his loss.
"In a three-and-a-half-hour match, I don't know if it's the beginning of the fifth that was key, you know," Federer said.
"I think overall he probably created more chances than I did. I had difficulties ... getting into his service games time and time again like I usually do against him.
"I think he started off serving well, and then, I mean, fifth set, obviously he did well. I think he played a bit more aggressive because he did create more opportunities over and over again.
"I think he was able to dig out of the first game ... I think it was a 30-all game and then break me the other way around, which was obviously not the start I was hoping for because I was feeling good, obviously, after winning the fourth."
When asked where his most recent loss to one of the other 'big four' players - Djokovic, Murray and Rafael Nadal - leaves him, the 31-year-old was upbeat, claiming he can still match it with them as he always has.
"Well, nothing has changed. I've played these guys, what, 60 times, the three guys around me in the rankings. So we know each other really well. We play each other very close very often. Keep on trading wins and losses," he said.
"Novak has done probably the best job getting more wins than losses. That's why he's ranked where he is. I enjoy the matches with Rafa, Novak, and also Andy again tonight. It's nice playing five sets against him. It was tough tennis. I enjoy that.
"So I go from here with a good feeling for the year. I didn't play a tournament leading in, so now obviously I know where my level is at. Also knowing I have even more time to work on my game, work on my fitness this year. It's something I'm excited about."