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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 January 2007, 11:13 GMT
Murray enjoys 'perfect' build-up
Andy Murray
Murray is up to a career-high 15th in the world
Andy Murray says "everything is in place" to launch a strong challenge at the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on Monday.

The British number one, seeded 15th, meets Spain's Alberto Martin in the first round on Tuesday.

Murray told BBC Five Live: "[The preparation] has been perfect. I've matured a lot since last year.

"I realised I had to change some things after the Australian Open last year and I have benefited from it."

WATCH MURRAY'S OPENING MATCH ON BBC INTERACTIVE OR ON THE BBC SPORT WEBSITE FROM 0830 ON TUESDAY

Murray finished third in last week's exhibition event at Kooyong and had good wins over world number four Ivan Ljubicic and 2005 Australian Open champion Marat Safin.

The week before, Murray was beaten in the final of the Qatar Open by Croatia's Ljubicic.

"It was great to get those sort of matches the week before a Grand Slam," said the 19-year-old Scot.

Now I feel like I know how to deal with [the press] a lot better

Andy Murray

"I was hitting the ball well and all the things I wanted to work on in those matches I did.

"It felt like my game had improved a lot since the end of last year. Last year I prepared slightly differently and this year has been much better."

Murray worked with athletics legend Michael Johnson before Christmas with a view to improving his suspect strength and fitness.

And Murray hopes the extra work will pay off this year with more consistency throughout the season.

"I played well last year in patches but I had some problems," said Murray.

"To get to the next level you have to play consistently for the whole year and that's one of the things I want to change this year."

606 DEBATE: How will the Brits do in Melbourne?

Murray said he is also beginning to come to grips with the off-court pressures that come with being Britain's next great tennis hope.

"It's been pretty hectic since Wimbledon 2005. I had some problems with the press and was finding things quite hard to deal with," he said.

"But now I feel like I know how to deal with [the press] a lot better and my game has improved.

"So this is a good chance to see where my game is at the start of the year and see how I deal with the pressures of the first Grand Slam."



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