Andy Murray hopes a revamped training programme will help him cope with the searing heat in Australia over the coming month.
The British No 1 is in Melbourne to play in the invitation-only Kooyong Classic, a round-robin tournament featuring five of the world's top 10 players, after which he will head to the Australian Open beginning in the same city on Monday.
With temperatures predicted to be in the low 40s Celsius this week, the local conditions will obviously play a part. But Murray, who has a new coaching staff of fellow Scot Miles Maclagan, Louis Cayer and Leon Smith with Matt Little, Jez Green and Andy Ireland taking care of fitness is confident he will cope. "We always expect it to be hot here," said the 20-year-old, whose opening match against the former world No 1 Marat Safin is scheduled to take place this afternoon local time.
"I trained for four weeks in Florida before going back home for Christmas so I tried to get some training in the heat. But I've been doing Bikram yoga, which is in a 42-degree room, so hopefully I'll be used to it."
Murray comes into the event having won the Qatar Open by beating Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland to win his fourth career title last week. "I feel good," the world No 9 said. "I started well last year as well, making the final there [Qatar] so it has been nice with my new team around me."