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Page last updated at 07:12 GMT, Saturday, 23 August 2008 08:12 UK

Murray promises US Open challenge

Andy Murray
Murray has already enjoyed his best year as a professional

British number one Andy Murray insists he can break the Grand Slam dominance of the "big three" at the US Open.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal claimed 16 of the last 19 Slams and Novak Djokovic won January's Australian Open.

"Nadal is obviously playing really well but I think this surface and Grand Slam he has struggled at," Murray said.

"Federer is playing really well but his performance has dropped a little bit and beating Djokovic a couple of times recently has given me confidence."

Murray, who is sixth in the latest world rankings, has a 2-1 career record against Federer after beating the Swiss star in Cincinnati in 2006 and Doha earlier this year.

The Scot has also beaten Djokovic twice, in Toronto and Cincinnati within the space of the last month, yet has lost each of his five encounters with world number one Nadal.

Gaston Gaudio (2004 French Open)
Marat Safin (2005 Australian Open)
Novak Djokovic (2008 Australian Open)

Yet the 21-year-old insists he goes to Flushing Meadows intending to win the US Open.

"It's hard, but I think if you want to win Slams, in any era, you will have to have beaten great players to do it," he said.

"It's very hard to do, but it's definitely not impossible. You have to go into, for me anyway, every tournament to win.

"I always feel if you set a goal to reach the third round, if you do make it to the third round, you almost are satisfied with what you achieved.

"Set the goal high and try your best to win the tournament."

Murray, who opens against Argentina's Sergio Roitman at the final Grand Slam of the year, has already enjoyed his best year as a professional.


He has won two early-season tournaments in Qatar and Marseille, enjoyed his best clay-court season, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and then claimed the Masters Series title in Cincinnati earlier this month.

And he says he intends to continue climbing the rankings and go further in a Grand Slam, starting at the US Open.

"I want to try to keep moving up (the rankings) and I think it's time for me to go a little bit further (at a Grand Slam)," he said.

"I have the potential to do that, but you try not to look so far ahead, go one match at a time, just see what happens because once you get into the second week anything can happen."

"I think I'm stronger mentally and physically this season. My game hasn't changed a whole lot, but when you're physically in better shape it gives you extra confidence.

"You go on the court just worrying about the tennis instead of other things. It gives you a better peace of mind."

And Murray will be looking to overcome the disappointment of a shock straight sets defeat by Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun in the first round of the men's Olympic singles.

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see also
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Keothavong wins on US Open debut
25 Aug 08 |  Tennis
Superb Murray wins Masters title
03 Aug 08 |  Tennis
Superb Murray sets up Nadal clash
26 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Brilliant Murray outplays Federer
16 Aug 06 |  Tennis
Murray delighted with Federer win
17 Aug 06 |  Tennis
Brutal Nadal sweeps aside Murray
02 Jul 08 |  Tennis

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