Murray learns from 2010 slump

Given his pledge to look forward rather than back, Andy Murray would no doubt prefer not to contemplate the direction his career took exactly 12 months ago.

As the 23-year-old Scot prepares for his opening match in Indian Wells this weekend at the start of two back-to-back Masters Series tournaments on outdoor hard courts, he is determined not to repeat the mistakes of last year.

Having played the best tennis of his life to reach the 2010 Australian Open final, in which he lost to Roger Federer, Murray subsequently went into a slump from which he emerged only in mid-summer. Between Melbourne and Wimbledon he reached just two quarter-finals.

This year has started to follow a similar pattern – Murray again reached the Australian Open final, losing to Novak Djokovic, and played poorly in his only other match in Rotterdam last month – but the world No 5 is thinking positively.

"Last year I had maybe four bad months after the Australian Open and I don't want that to happen again," he said in California as he prepared for his opening match against America's Donald Young. "I've learned from last year that I need to keep improving, keep practising, trying out new things, staying in good shape, getting in the gym."

He added: "I feel like now I have learned not to put the emphasis all the time on winning matches. I want to make sure that I play my best tennis at the Grand Slams and I think I have started to do that better the last couple of years. I've just got to make sure I stay confident about the level I am trying to get to."

Murray, who was due to play doubles with his brother Jamie last night against the Brazilians Marcelo Mello and Bruno Soares, believes it is important to restrict his tournament appearances at the start of the year. He has played only in Melbourne and Rotterdam, having pulled out of Dubai last month.

"You need to have a little trust in your training and what you're practising, so when you come into the tournaments you're not as uptight if you haven't played a match for quite a while," he said. "I feel good. I've played a lot of practice sets to make sure I'm not going to be that rusty and I've been hitting the ball well."

Murray has never played 21-year-old Young, the world No 143 and a former world junior No 1. Thereafter the Scot is seeded to meet Tommy Robredo and Fernando Verdasco, followed by Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, the winner to play Rafael Nadal.

Soderling, having won three titles this year, has stretched his lead over Murray in the world rankings to 335 points, though the Scot now has a good chance to overhaul the world No 4. Soderling has 720 points to defend in Indian Wells and Miami, which begins the week after next, while Murray has just 190.

Most of the top women are also competing in Indian Wells. Britain's Elena Baltacha is through to the second round – after victory over Roberta Vinci – and faces Flavia Pennetta.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on