Melbourne: Rising star Grigor Dimitrov admits he still has work to do if he wants to break the Grand Slam dominance of the old guard after Andy Murray shattered his Australian Open dream.
The Bulgarian has been tipped as a future major champion but must now wait until the French Open to have another crack at proving his credentials alongside the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Dubbed "Baby Fed" for his playing similarities to the Swiss great and a picture-perfect one-handed backhand, Dimitrov was ground down by Britain`s Murray in a titanic four-setter on Sunday evening.
The sixth seed showed fantastic fighting qualities to win 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5, taking the last five crucial games as the 10th seed let the match slip from his grasp.
Dimitrov`s disappointment was evident for all to see in a major dummy spit as Murray rallied in the fourth set, with the high-profile Bulgarian smashing his racquet into the court, leaving it twisted and unusable.
"I mean, if you lose you obviously haven`t done some things right," said the 23-year-old.
"I`m happy that I competed at a good level and it takes a player like Andy to beat me like that.
"I`m just disappointed because it`s not the result that I wanted. For sure I could have done things better."
He lamented that his serve was not up to scratch, with Murray breaking him seven times.
"I think that sort of made the biggest difference," he said.
"Andy`s a great returner, so you always got to pick your spots pretty good. If not, you know he`s going to get the ball back."
Despite failing to match or better his performance at Melbourne Park last year when he made the last eight, Dimitrov said he could also take some positives from the opening Grand Slam of the season.
"It`s also good for me to see what I did good, what I can do better next time," he said.
"I think Andy played a really high level throughout the whole match. I`m not going to hide that."
Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion but luckless in Melbourne in three losing finals, will now play Australian teenager Nick Krygios for a place in the semi-finals.