Murray relaxed ahead of new season

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iol spt jan1 Andy Murray Getty Images Andy Murray says he is heading into the new tennis season more relaxed than ever after breaking through for his first Grand Slam title. Photo by Matt Roberts

Brisbane – Andy Murray says he is heading into the new tennis season more relaxed than ever after breaking through for his first Grand Slam title at last year's US Open.

Murray, the top seed for this week's Brisbane International, ended one of sport's longest droughts when he became the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

Apart from a few airline upgrades in the months following the win, Murray said the only other change to his life was a new attitude.

“I prepared exactly the same (for the new season),” the Scot said.

“I probably just feel a little bit more relaxed maybe in the last few weeks than I normally do a few weeks out from a slam.

“But, you know, I'm sure once I get on the court everything stays the same,” he added.

“I prepared very well in Miami and trained hard to get myself ready for the new season, and I hope can be successful here.”

Murray, who was awarded an OBE by the Queen in the New Year's honours list, said having coach Ivan Lendl with him had helped him cope with the extra commitments that come with being a Grand Slam winner.

“Obviously the few weeks afterwards were very busy, and then once you start travelling and playing tournaments again and get back into the routine of training and practising, life hasn't really changed that much, to be honest, which has been nice,” he said.

“Also having someone like Ivan around me as well -- he went through a similar sort of thing, so that's obviously helped as well. He's given me some advice on how to deal with certain things that come with winning big events.”

Murray says he is now better prepared to win the big tournaments following his US Open triumph.

“I always prepared to give myself the best chance to win the event,” he said.

“Obviously the last few years I got close but never managed to get over the final hurdle.

“So whether it was a mental thing, whether it was things in my game that I needed to improve, physical things, you know, who knows exactly?” he asked.

“But now that I've managed to do it, I hope that when I'm in those situations again I'll deal with them better and put less pressure on myself, which obviously will help me play better.”

Murray opens his Brisbane campaign against Australian qualifier John Millman on Thursday. – AFP


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