Murray to enjoy US Open experience
If Andy Murray does retain his US Open title, expect to see a much more joyful reaction from the Scot than when he broke his grand slam duck 12 months ago.
When victory over Novak Djokovic finally came in New York after five agonising sets, Murray dropped to his knees and tried to take in what he had achieved.
There was one over-riding emotion - relief.
He had lost his first four grand slam finals and the pressure to win one of the sport's four big titles had grown and grown as the years went on.
When he added a Wimbledon title this summer, his reaction was more exuberant, but still the release of pressure was the overwhelming factor as he ended Britain's long wait for a men's singles champion.
The weight of history lifted from his shoulders, Murray is now free to try to win things for himself and his team.
He told Press Association Sport: "I think in some ways it will be more enjoyable.
"Almost before every single time I stepped on the court for any match, you always felt you were having to prove yourself all the time whereas now I feel like I've done that.
"Still I want to try to achieve more. I still train hard to give myself an opportunity to win these tournaments. I know how hard they are to win.
"I may not win another one but I'm looking forward to getting going here with a little less pressure and hopefully a bit more confidence coming in than before."
When he arrived in New York 12 months ago, Murray had already taken two important steps on the journey to becoming a grand slam champion.
First there was his performance in his maiden Wimbledon final against Roger Federer, which he did not win but he did do himself justice for the first time in a slam final.
Then came his spectacular win over Federer to claim Olympic gold on Centre Court only four weeks later.
That was probably the tournament that Murray has enjoyed most, which certainly bodes well for what a more relaxed Murray may be able to achieve in the future.
He said: "Twelve months ago if someone had offered me to be in this position I would have done anything for that.
"Now that I'm here with a couple of slams I want to try to go on and prepare for each one individually as best as I can. I'll look at the US Open, see how that goes, and then it will be on to the Australian Open next.
"I don't want to look at numbers or how many I could win because I know how difficult they are, but I'll definitely prepare as best as I can to try to win more."
Murray does not expect to begin his campaign until Wednesday, when he takes on Frenchman Michael Llodra.
World number one Djokovic, who he could meet in the semi-finals, and Rafael Nadal are almost certain to be the biggest obstacles to Murray retaining his title.
Djokovic's consistency in grand slams is remarkable - he has failed to reach the final only three times in the last 12 tournaments - but if form is anything to go by then Nadal may present the bigger challenge.
Hard courts have been the Spaniard's least successful surface, yet this year he has won all three tournaments he has played on the surface, including back to back in Montreal and Cincinnati before heading to New York.
Asked how impressed he has been with Nadal's run, Murray said: "It's hard not to be.
"He hasn't lost yet and he's beaten some tough players in tough tournaments, winning the two tournaments back to back in Cincinnati and Canada. It doesn't happen often.
"It's not like he's had easy draws or whatever. He's beaten some top, top players. He's going to be very difficult to beat here."
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