PARIS — Andy Murray left the French Open in optimistic mood, and with the firm belief that a third Grand Slam title is not too far away.
The third-seeded Briton pushed top-ranked Novak Djokovic to a fifth set in their French Open semifinal that spanned over two days, before the Serb stepped up a gear to clinch a 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 win on Saturday.
Speaking after the match, Murray said his game is "back to where it needs to be in terms of winning Slams."
Murray's performance against the top-ranked Serb was widely acclaimed, especially after Djokovic dispatched nine-time champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Djokovic had not dropped a set en route to his semifinal.
"Andy really surprised me, especially in the way he proudly fought back," said Henri Leconte, a former French Open runner-up. "And he was not playing on his favorite surface. He just needs an extra something to get past Novak. But you'd better watch for him at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open."
On the back of his best clay-court season ever, Murray is confident he can go one better at Wimbledon, where he triumphed in 2013 but was upset in the quarterfinals by Grigor Dimitrov last year. He also won the U.S. Open in 2012.
"Physically I'm back there again, and obviously now with the grass-court season coming up, hopefully I can get myself an opportunity there and play much better going into the grass this year than I was last year," said Murray.
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire contributed to this report.