Murray confident of Grand Slam success

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray believes his form is good enough to help him break his grand slam duck at the Australian Open.

The world number four has started the year in irresistible touch at the Hopman Cup in Perth to spearhead Great Britain's charge into the final for the first time.

Murray and his playing partner Laura Robson booked their place in tomorrow's title decider against Spain after they defeated Russia 2-1 today to maintain an unbeaten record in the tournament.

Murray has been particularly impressive and, after spending less than two hours on court to win his opening two singles matches, the 22-year-old produced his best display yet to crush Igor Andreev 6-1 6-0.

The big-hitting Russian, ranked 35 in the world, had no answer to Murray's muscular ground-strokes as the Scot finished the match with 16 winners compared to just three from his opponent.

"If I play like that then I can win Australia for sure," said Murray.

"I didn't feel like I was making any bad decisions. I didn't feel like I was overplaying and it was just lucky shots that were coming off.

"But I need to make sure I do it in a couple of weeks and play like that from the start of the tournament to the end."

The Australian Open begins on January 18 and Murray believes he is playing better than ever before the start of the opening grand slam of the year.

Murray opted to forgo his title defence in Doha to come to Australia early and acclimatise to conditions - a decision he feels has now been vindicated.

"I've always started the years pretty well. I've made the final in Doha and won it two years in a row," he said.

"But in terms of the way I've been striking the ball and moving and playing well up at the net and taking chances, that's probably the best I've played at the start of the year."

Great Britain had to recover from going behind in the tie for the third time in the group stages after 15-year-old Robson started brightly before succumbing to world number five Elena Dementieva 6-4 6-0.

Murray then levelled the tie in whirlwind fashion before the pair, who had not played alongside each other before this week, recorded their third consecutive mixed doubles win.

They won in a pulsating match tie-breaker 6-4 6-7 (8/6) 10-6, but despite their dream run will be underdogs to overcome Spanish duo Tommy Robredo and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez under the Burswood Dome tomorrow.

The Spaniards have not lost a set so far in the tournament, but Murray is confident of changing that in the final.

"I won't lose tomorrow," the confident Scot said.

"If I play well I have a good chance of winning. If I play badly he (Robredo) can make it very, very difficult for you.

"He doesn't make many mistakes. He chases a lot of balls down.

"There will probably be some long rallies, but I'll try to keep them as short as possible."