Winning Grand Slams more important to Andy Murray than becoming world No 1

The Scot will defend his US Open later this month

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The Independent Online

Winning a second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last month has underlined Andy Murray's hunger for success. The 26-year-old Scot, who is set to play his opening match at the Montreal Masters against Grigor Dimitrov or Marcel Granollers on Wednesday, would even sacrifice the chance of becoming world No 1 if he could win more Grand Slam titles.

"I sat down actually just a few days ago and talked a little bit about that," Murray said during a break from practice in Montreal. "I want to try and win another Grand Slam. Every player would like to get to No 1, but I would rather win another Grand Slam or two and not get to No 1."

The Wimbledon champion, who is No 2 in the rankings behind Novak Djokovic, will begin the defence of his US Open title in three weeks' time. "It took me a long time to win my first [Grand Slam] and I know how difficult it is to win those tournaments," Murray said. "I'll work as hard as I can to give myself an opportunity at the US Open."

He added: "The last couple of years I haven't always played my most consistent tennis in the build-up to the Slams and then when I got there I started to play better. I've always looked ahead to the Slams and sometimes not played my best tennis in the Masters Series, which wasn't the case at the beginning of my career. I want to try and do well here."

Murray has been sending messages of support in recent days to his fellow Briton, Dan Evans, who on Sunday night was beaten 6-0, 1-6, 7-5 by Canada's Vasek Pospisil, the world No 71, in the final of the Vancouver Open. The result took Evans to a career-high position at No 194 in the world rankings, the first time the 23-year-old from Birmingham has broken into the top 200.

Evans, who beat four higher-ranked opponents to reach the final, had dropped out of the top 300 less than three months ago but is now pushing James Ward for the No 2 spot in the British list. Ward, who won a Challenger title in the United States last month, is currently No 174 in the world.

Johanna Konta: The British No 3 rose to 115 in the world by winning the Vancouver Open (Getty)


Johanna Konta, the British No 3 behind Laura Robson and Heather Watson, went one better than Evans in Vancouver by winning the women's title, beating Canada's Sharon Fichman 6-4, 6-2 to record the best tournament victory of her career. It was 22-year-old Konta's second title in a week following her triumph in Winnipeg and took her to a personal high at No 115 in the updated world ranking list.

Konta beat Su-Wei Hsieh, the world No 41 and top seed, in the first round in Vancouver and dropped only one set - to her fellow Briton Jade Windley - en route to the title.

Ken and Neal Skupski won their second successive doubles title on the Challenger tour when they beat Mikhail Elgin and Uladzimir Ignatik in the final in Segovia. The brothers want to play in the Davis Cup for Britain and have set their sights on breaking into the world's top 50.

The Lawn Tennis Association has announced details of the first "Great British Tennis Weekend", which will take place on 17 and 18 August and will offer free tennis at 39 park sites across the country. Equipment and coaching will also be free. More information is available at The LTA wants to build on the legacy of last year's Olympics and Paralympics and encourage more people to play the sport.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: "Nothing inspires people into sport more than seeing heroes like Andy Murray win against the best in the world. So it's great that after this incredible Wimbledon victory the LTA is holding a Great British Tennis Weekend to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take part in the game for free."

Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka's injury-troubled year has taken another disappointing turn with her withdrawal from this week's Rogers Cup in Toronto. The 24-year-old from Belarus, who retook the world No 2 ranking from Maria Sharapova in the most recent rankings, announced her withdrawal because of a lower back injury after losing to Australia's Sam Stosur in the final in Carlsbad, California. Stosur won 6-3, 6-2 to claim her first title for nearly two years.

Juan Martin del Potro won the Washington title for the third time when he beat the American John Isner 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the final. Isner said afterwards that he considered Del Potro the third favourite behind Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win the US Open, which starts later this month.