Murray plays up to favourite’s tag
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14
Murray, the world number four, is comfortable being tagged as the favourite for the first major event of the year, despite the fact he has yet to win a grand slam title.
“I don’t have a problem being favourite or not. I guess Roger (Federer) would prefer to be favourite himself so that’s absolutely fine. It doesn’t change my mindset going into the tournament,” said Murray.
Murray came close at the US Open last year, eventually losing to Federer in the final, and he believes that run at Flushing Meadows has set him up nicely for a shot at the title in Melbourne.
Federer has expressed surprise Murray has been named as the favourite alongside himself and ahead of top seed and world number one Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic, who is seeded three.
Murray added: “It’s obviously a good thing (to be seen as a threat). When you do become a contender for a slam the seedings and stuff helps with your draws. It gives me that little bit of extra confidence.
“The US Open was a great run for me and I learned a lot from that. Hopefully I can keep it going here.”
Murray, who is hoping to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a grand slam singles title, has what should be a relatively straightforward opening encounter against Andrei Pavel.
The Romanian has been out of action with a back injury since February and is in Melbourne on an injury-protected ranking after plummeting to 1,140th in the world.
He is unlikely to push the British number one as hard as he did the last time the pair met, at the 2005 US Open when Murray vomited on the court before winning in five sets.