Doha, Qatar:Andy Murray downplayed talk that he's the favorite for the Australian Open after his successful defense of the Qatar Open title on Saturday.
No. 4-ranked Murray defeated No. 8 Andy Roddick 6-4, 6-2 to win the first ATP final of the year.
The Scot beat Roger Federer in the semifinals. He also defeated Federer and top-ranked Rafael Nadal last week in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi. With the Australian Open starting in Melbourne in 10 days, Murray was heading toward the year's first Grand Slam with the best form.
"I feel good going into the Australian Open but after what happened last year I don't want to get too carried away," Murray said.
"I am one of the top guys but I don't know if I am the favorite at the Australian Open. There is Roger, Rafa and Novak (Djokovic), who won last year. I like playing in Melbourne but I did not play well last year."
A year ago, Murray lost in the first round to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who eventually reached the final.
Yet again, he'll be in Australia as the Qatar champion, after a convincing win over Roddick for his ninth title in 14 finals.
Murray converted all three of his break points and, facing the only break chance Roddick had, he aced the American. Murray wasn't broken in the semifinals or final, and showed no sign of the back injury which bothered him against Federer.
Murray broke to go up 3-2 in the opening set, and twice more in the second for a 4-1 lead in Qatar's first all top-10 final since 1993.
"I am not close to my best tennis," Murray said. "But if I play my best tennis then I can beat the top players."
Roddick was impressed with Murray.
"He's in top form right now. ... I think he is capable of winning the big ones," Roddick said. "He was hitting great balls. But I am happy with my form. I made him beat me. I didn't give it away so easily. It was a successful week for me."