Murray moves into Australian contender position

January 11th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer Melbourne, Jan 11 (DPA) Andy Murray heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open on the back of his fifth victory over Roger Federer in seven career ATP matches against the Swiss. In addition, Britain’s fast-rising player has also stopped Rafael Nadal — and Federer — at the Abu Dhabi exhibition a week ago before beating Andy Roddick Saturday to win the Doha ATP trophy for the second year in succession.

2009 is shaping up as the best chance in decades for British men to break a Grand Slam title drought stretching back to Fred Perry in 1936 at Wimbledon.

But world number four Murray is careful not to let his growing reputation overshadow his improving game.

“There are Roger, Rafa and Novak who won last year,” he said in Doha before travelling to Australia. “I like playing in Melbourne but I did not play well last year (first-round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

“I feel good going into the Open but after last year I don’t want to get too carried away. I need to concentrate on each match and fight hard.

“I’m one of the top guys but I don’t know if I am the favourite at the Australian Open. But I don’t think I’m close to my best tennis. I still think I can play better and improve.”

Murray’s Doha victory was his ninth title, with six of those lifted since last Jan.

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