Andy Murray no longer feeling pressure to win

Andy Murray will experience a new sensation when he starts play

at next month’s Australian Open – feeling like a Grand Slam

champion.

The third-ranked Brit broke through at the U.S. Open in 2012,

adding to his gold medal at the London Olympics.

”In the last three, four or five years there has been

significant pressure in my mind, and now I feel more relaxed and

relieved after winning the U.S. Open,” Murray said Wednesday.

”So, I think from my side, I hope to take the pressure off myself

and be able to play a little bit more relaxed – and I hope to

repeat my Grand Slam win.”

Murray was promoting a winner-takes-all $250,000 exhibition

tournament in Abu Dhabi that serves as a warmup for the Australian

Open, which runs Jan. 14-27.

Murray hired Ivan Lendl as coach on last New Year’s Eve and is

full of praise for the changes the eight-time Grand Slam champion

made in his game.

”He helped with a lot of small things; you know, technical

things, small mental and psychological things and small physical

things as well as tactical things,” Murray said. ”A lot of those

small things add up to 5 to 10 percent to my game, and that was

what I needed to find to make it past the last hurdle and win one

of the major tournaments.”

After losing in the final at Wimbledon this year, Murray’s next

goals include going one step farther at his home major tournament

and becoming the top-ranked player in the world – but he doesn’t

plan on playing more events to achieve the second of those.

”Every year when Wimbledon comes around I’m desperate to win

and do well. It’s an incredibly tough event and a lot of pressure

during that time of the year,” Murray said. ”The No. 1 ranking is

what every player wants to get. I can improve my ranking just

playing like I have done last season and the rest of the

tour.”

Murray faces Janko Tispsarevic on Thursday in the opening match

of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. That will be followed by

David Ferrer taking on Tomas Berdych. Novak Djokovic and Nicolas

Almagro, who replaced Rafael Nadal, are also in the field.