Murray ready for Grand Slam assault

Andy Murray believes skipping his title defence in Doha this week will better prepare him as he aims to claim his first grand slam title at the Australian Open.

Murray is the two-time defending champion at the Qatari season-opener, however, he has opted to miss the event and fly to Australia early to acclimatise to the conditions Down Under.



The 22-year-old Scot will instead compete at this week's Hopman Cup in Perth - a mixed team event that will see him play alongside rising teenage talent Laura Robson.



The round-robin format of the tournament ensures players will play at least three singles matches, although Murray believes competing in the hot and humid conditions on Australia's west coast will be of most benefit with the first grand slam of the new year just three weeks away.



Temperatures in Perth have risen above the 40 degrees Celsius mark in the past week and Murray, who will arrive in Australia straight from his warm-weather training base in Miami later this week, believes the change in preparation will benefit him.



"I am looking forward to getting to Australia early and making sure I'm over the jet lag and fully ready," Murray told the official tournament programme after he opted to miss Christmas in Scotland for the first time to maintain his preparation.



"What I did before, going to Doha in the first week of the year, you play every match at night and it is cold.



"(In the past) I was coming back from Miami and going to Scotland for a few days over Christmas, so I was spending three or four weeks training in the heat, coming back to Scotland where it's cold, going to Doha where's it's cold and then go to Australia and have five days to get used to the heat again.



"I think this way will work much better."



Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who will partner Sam Stosur as the top-ranked team in Perth, echoed Murray's thoughts that a change of plan could help the Scot's chances breaking his grand slam duck.



"He always plays well in Doha, but I suppose this way he gets used to the conditions here a bit earlier," Hewitt told Press Association Sport.



"It could work for him, Doha's a great tournament to play, but I can understand his thoughts behind it."



The former world number one was, however, less forthcoming about Murray's immediate hopes of lifting the Hopman Cup alongside the 15-year-old Robson.



"In terms of singles Andy Murray is such a quality player," he added.



"But he's playing with a young girl so how they fare in this kind of competition is going to be a little bit up in the air."



Murray and Robson are the third seeds in the eight-team tournament with the winners of the two groups going through to the final on January 9.



Great Britain play bottom seeds Kazakhstan in their first tie at the Burswood Dome on Monday before matches against Germany and Russia.



News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice