Murray equipped for grand slam glory
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:45
Second seed Murray, 22, who is set to open with a first-round match against Ernests Gulbis, played in his first grand slam final 12 months ago and was beaten in straight sets by defending champion Roger Federer after knocking out Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
“There’s not one thing I would take out that’s got a lot, lot better but I think everything’s just got that little bit better and that’s the difference when you get close to the top of the sport,” said the Scot. “There’s not one major thing that changes but a lot of little things.”
The Federer defeat, though, spurred the British number one to work hard on his game over the winter and he emerged in 2009 as a consistent contender on the ATP tour.
Murray has won five titles this year, including the Montreal Masters event two weeks ago, a level of play that has lifted him to number two in the men’s rankings at the expense of Nadal.
“I feel like I’m playing a lot better,” Murray said, when asked about his progress over the last year.
“Up until Wimbledon last year, I was playing I guess top-10 tennis but not tennis that was consistent enough to get me to (number) two in the world. So I think that my consistency has been a lot better, and physically I feel stronger than I was last year, in terms of natural parts of my game.”
The Scot has also taken valuable lessons from his first grand slam final experience last year in New York.
“That was the first time I got past the quarter-finals of a slam, so that was a great experience for me to learn to play throughout the two weeks of a slam and feel physically I was able to do that,” Murray said.
“I learned a lot from last year and getting to the final and the matches I played. I went away and worked very hard after that to improve myself, so I learned a lot from last year.”