Triumphant Andy Murray eyes repeat at Australian Open
Andy Murray has proved to himself that he is capable of winning a maiden grand slam title, insisting Sunday's triumph at the Brisbane International can be repeated at the Australian Open if he finds the same level of form.
Murray is still searching for that elusive first grand slam, having lost twice in the final of the Australian Open and once in the US Open showpiece. When he returns to Melbourne Park on January 16, he will do so as the runner-up of the last two years.
This time he will launch his challenge after tasting victory on Australian soil for the first time. A 6-1 6-3 win against Alexandr Dolgopolov was comprehensive and emphatic, giving the British No. 1 a huge shot of confidence.
"I'm a year wiser, at least, with a year's more experience," Murray said. "I think I've improved a few things in my game, too. I still played pretty good last year in Australia and I can play great tennis again.
"I need to show up and give 100% every match. If someone plays a great match to beat me, that happens. But if I play well, like I did this week, I give myself a good chance."
Murray is also not allowing himself to be fooled by the apparent fitness concerns of Roger Federer (back) and Rafael Nadal (shoulder). The old cliché of Murray "never having a better chance" is likely to be dragged out at some point in the build-up to the year's first grand slam, but the Brit is expecting no favours.
"Before the US Open, people were asking me about Rafa struggling, Novak's bad shoulder, Roger's not playing well. But every time it's the same guys in the semi-finals," Murray said. "So I'm not really concerned about them. A lot of times you can take some precautions before a slam."