Murray's heavyweight goal

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The Independent Online

Like most of us Andy Murray will step tentatively on to the bathroom scales after Christmas. Unlike the rest of the nation, however, the 21-year-old Scot will hope to have piled on the pounds.

After the best season of his career Murray's main goals this winter are to improve his fitness and put on weight. Having taken a 10-day break following his last tournament, the world No 4 flies to Miami tomorrow for a four-week training camp, replicating his off-season programme of a year ago. Jez Green, a physical conditioner, will be a key member of his backroom team.

Murray, whose improved fitness was a big factor in his performances this year, would like to gain up to four kilos - more than half a stone - by the time he flies to Abu Dhabi after Christmas for an exhibition event. He then plays a tournament in Doha followed by the Australian Open. "I'll do similar stuff to last year, but obviously my base will be a lot better than it was, so I'll be able to run a little bit faster and lift heavier weights," Murray said at Wimbledon yesterday as he looked ahead to 2009.

"I'll just try and work harder than I did last year, which is going to be difficult. I'll have to focus a lot on what I'm eating and make sure I eat a lot of protein so I can put on a bit of weight, which should give me a little bit more power in my shots.

"I'm going to have to eat loads to try and put on weight if I'm training four or five hours a day, so I'll eat a lot of sushi. I'm going to sit down with Jez when I get to Miami and go through it all. I've always eaten pretty well, but I've never really had a nutritional programme, having to eat certain things each day.''

He added: "I don't think there's anything huge in my game that needs to be improved. I just need to make sure that I'm even stronger than this year."

When in Britain Murray usually trains at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton, which opened last year. However, the Scot said that if he was an emerging teenager today he would still have gone to the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona, which he went to when he was 15.

"Roehampton is great, but there are times when the courts aren't getting used and the atmosphere isn't the same as in Spain, where the courts were always packed," Murray said. "It doesn't mean that it's the same for everybody and for some of the guys it might be the best thing for them to train at Roehampton. I think the set-up is more professional than it was when I was 16 or 17."

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