Murray: I feel more relaxed after breaking my Slam duck


The brief Christmas which he enjoyed back in a soggy and windswept Britain must feel like a distant memory to Andy Murray. The world No 3 has already made his first appearance of the season, in the warmth of the Middle East, and now he is preparing for his second, in the searing heat of Australia's Sunshine State of Queensland.

The temperature is forecast to rise to 32C in Brisbane on Wednesday, when Murray will play his first competitive match of the year against the winner of today's meeting between Japan's Tatsuma Ito and Australia's John Millman.

Although defeat to Janko Tipsarevic in last week's exhibition event in Abu Dhabi will be of no consequence in the long term, Murray will be hoping for a more prolonged run in his only warm-up tournament before the Australian Open, which begins in 13 days' time.

The 25-year-old Scot usually starts the year in good form and goes on to do well at the season's opening Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne, having been runner-up in 2010 and 2011 and a semi-finalist in 2012. Murray took the title in Brisbane last year and has twice won the Qatar Open in Doha in the first week of the season.

Murray is going into the new campaign in confident mood. "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 US Open," he said.

"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. I don't know how I will feel going into the first round of the Australian Open, so it will be a new feeling for me. I just have to deal with it."

If Murray reaches the third round in Brisbane he is seeded to play Slovakia's Martin Klizan, who was meeting Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin today. In the semi-finals Murray could face Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, who lost to the Scot in last year's final, or Japan's Kei Nishikori. Canada's Milos Raonic, who beat Murray in their last meeting in Tokyo three months ago, is the top seed in the other half of the draw.

Brisbane has attracted a high- quality women's field, but two of its biggest attractions went out yesterday. Australia's Sam Stosur, who so often struggles on home territory, was beaten 7-6, 7-5 by Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson, while Caroline Wozniacki, who entered last year's Australian Open as the world No 1, was beaten 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 by Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak.

Britain's Anne Keothavong, having successfully come through the qualifying tournament in Shenzhen in China, was beaten 6-4, 6-0 by Peng Shuai in the opening round. James Ward, making his comeback after injury, lost in the final round of qualifying in Chennai, going down 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to India's Prakash Amritraj, the world No 551.

Novak Djokovic, who has won the Australian Open three times without playing a competitive match in the build-up, is preparing for Melbourne by playing in the Hopman Cup exhibition event in Perth.

The world No 1 beat Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in his first match but was then at the centre of an injury scare after hurting his leg when autograph-hunters crowded round him and a sponsor's sign toppled over. Djokovic, who left his rackets and bag on the court before limping up the tunnel, failed to complete a television interview, though it was unclear how serious the injury was.

Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London