Murray believes his time has come

Updated: 04 January 2010 07:59 IST

Andy Murray believes he enters 2010 primed to make the quantum leap from contender to champion and finally end Britain's 74-year drought in Grand Slam singles t

Murray believes his time has come

Perth: Scotland's Andy Murray believes he enters 2010 primed to make the quantum leap from contender to champion and finally end Britain's 74-year drought in Grand Slam singles tennis.

The world No.4 has fine-tuned his schedule and preparation to give himself every chance of success in the Grand Slams, starting with the Australian Open later this month in Melbourne.

The 22-year-old has controversially opted out of Davis Cup duties for Great Britain, worked on his net game and put in the hard yards on the training track in Miami during the brief off-season so that he can fill the one gap in a resume that includes 14 ATP singles titles.

Speaking in Perth on Sunday as he prepared to represent Great Britain at the mixed teams Hopman Cup, Murray said he was ready to become the first British male player to win a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry's 1936 success at the US Open.

"I've been working really hard for the last two or three years physically to make sure that I am strong enough," he said.

"Tennis-wise, I just need to play my best at the slams.

"Last year I thought did well, but a few things I could have done a bit better.

"This year is all about getting prepared for the slams, and making sure I am in the best shape going into them.

"If I feel good going into the tournaments, especially on the hard courts and the grass, I have got a pretty good chance of beating any of the guys and winning the tournament, so I believe I can do well this year."

Murray is aware of criticism that he doesn't attack the net enough, but said he was continuing to work on his serve-and-volley game and noted that the challenge was to hone his tactics in a very unforgiving environment.

"I practice playing at the net a lot and have done for the last few years, it is more understanding when to come to the net and making sure you pick the right moments to come forward," he said.

"It's very difficult now, because guys pass so well, move so well and hit the ball so hard that you really have to pick the right moments.

"That is a tactical thing I have had to work on with my coach and hopefully it will pay off."

Murray has altered his preparation for the Australian Open, where he was pre-tournament favourite last year but bowed out to Fernando Verdasco in five sets in the fourth round.

This year, he has opted for the Hopman Cup in Australia rather than trying for a third successive title at the season-opening ATP event in Doha.

He said he wanted to arrive in Australia earlier than in previous years to give himself more time to acclimatise to the local conditions.

"I wanted to get out here a little bit earlier to get used to the heat, to get over the jet lag and get used to the courts, because the surface is a lot different than the one in Doha."

Murray believes the Plexicushion courts in Melbourne suit his game and said he was also considering playing at Melbourne's Kooyong Classic next week.

He defended his decision to sit out Great Britain's Davis Cup Europe-Africa Zone Group II tie against Lithuania in March, saying it was time for younger British players to be given the chance to pick up the baton.

"I've played a lot of Davis Cup matches the last few years and enjoyed playing in them, but when I play and we lose I don't feel like it benefits the other (British) players that much," he said.

"I think it is a bit unfair to single me out for that (missing the tie), (Roger) Federer has missed Davis Cup matches, Raf (Nadal) has missed Davis Cup matches, (Novak) Djokovic has missed Davis Cup matches, (Pete) Sampras, (Andre) Agassi.

"A lot better players than me have missed Davis Cup matches.

"I am not abandoning Great Britain, I am here representing them here as well."



Topics : Tennis Andy Murray
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