IF you look hard enough, there are always upsides even after a seemingly horrible defeat.

For Andy Murray, a hugely below-par performance that cost him a 6-1, 6-3 defeat to 18-year-old Borna Coric was put into perspective yesterday as Roger Federer demolished the Croat 6-1, 6-2.

The key difference here is that Federer, having won the Davis Cup with Switzerland last November, is sitting out the competition this year and is clearly better able to focus on his regular events.

Murray, on the other hand, will lead Britain against the United States next weekend and Dubai, with all due respect, was very much second fiddle in his mind.

The Scot arrived back in London yesterday, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals in Dubai and will head to Glasgow to join the rest of the squad tomorrow.

If his display against Coric, when he won just five points on the teenager's serve, was bizarrely bad but some results mean more than others.

Few people know that better than Andre Agassi, a man who endured plenty of ups and downs in his career.

Agassi was on a plane during the Coric match and didn't see the way it transpired but the former world No.1 was adamant that it will have no effect on how Murray performs when his country's shirt is on his back on Friday.

And the American said the extra time Murray has should pay dividends.

"I would make the most out of those seven days," he said. "If you gave me less than seven days, I would feel like it was coming with a cost.

"I'm not suggesting (he went) down there to lose on purpose. When you plan for something that you value and something you are trying to peak for, everything you do leading up to it has to have a purpose.

"You have a guy who went down to Dubai, played two matches and is getting back here on Friday to be playing three sets out of five in front of his home crowd against America in Davis Cup, which I'm sure he values.

"Andy is going to be ready and is going to be playing his best tennis, if I had to predict, one week from today. I wouldn't worry about the loss. I don't think he would lose to that kid if he was playing him in Davis Cup.

"I don't know if that's an ugly truth or not. It's really important for him to be here. That's what I think probably happened."

Champions know how each other's minds work and Agassi said he believed Murray was not the sort of personality who could sustain the intensity he has shown on big occasions all the way through a year.

"It is a long year to negotiate and it's harder for some," Agassi said. "I don't think Andy is inspired by just winning. I think it's easier for some. Winning is fuel for people. Andy is a bit of a tortured perfectionist.

Murray has been criticised many times throughout his career for being too hard on himself, something Agassi recognises.

"Andy holds himself to a far higher standard than anybody else, I assure you," he said, at the launch of his new range of gym equipment, BILT,

"You can see it when something isn't good enough for him. Even though things are going pretty well, he just believes that he can do it better. Even if he does do it better, it doesn't scratch an itch for him. There's no arrival."