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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Saturday, 8 November 2008

Tired Murray wary of dip in form

MASTERS CUP, Shanghai:
Dates: 9-16 November Starts: 0600/1000 GMT daily Coverage: Live on Radio 5 Live sports extra; live text on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports

Andy Murray and Andy Roddick
Murray and Roddick were opponents in Miami last year

British number one Andy Murray fears his first Masters Cup tournament could be undermined by tiredness.

The 21-year-old has had a demanding year that has seen him win five titles, reach the US Open final and record wins over some of the world's top players.

"I feel confident, but I'm not expecting to play my best tennis this week," sais Murray, ahead of his first game against Andy Roddick on Monday.

"I've played a lot of matches. I'm a little bit tired," added Murray.

The Scot qualified for the event in Shanghai after reaching a career-best fourth in the world rankings.

"I'm not expecting too much really," said Murray.

"I had a great year. For me, it's been my best year ever.

"I'll try to do the best I can. Even if I lose, but I play my best, I will still feel happy.

"It's just important because very few guys can qualify for this tournament. It's a reward for the effort throughout the whole year."

Murray and Roddick have faced each other on six occasions with the Scot having won four of those meetings.

"Most matches with him are going to be tight because he serves so well, it's so difficult to break him," said Murray.

Federer's the favourite. He's the second-best in the world. Since Nadal is out, that's the reason

Andy Murray

"I'll have to make sure that I return well and serve well and hopefully the rest of the game will get me through."

Murray will also face Gilles Simon and Roger Federer in the red group in China, with the latter bidding for his fifth Masters Cup triumph.

"It's a tough group, but all of the groups are going to be difficult here," said Murray.

"Roddick and Federer have got the most experience out of everyone here. It's Roddick's sixth time here and Federer's won it four times.

"Simon is the match out of all of them that I'm probably expected to win, but the first match against Roddick is going to be very important.

"Physically, I'm much stronger than I was this time last year, but also I missed three-and-a-half months of last year through a wrist injury which didn't help my chances of qualifying for here."


The gold group features Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro, with world number one Rafael Nadal missing the competition due to fatigue.

"Federer's the favourite," said Murray. "He's the second-best in the world. Since Nadal is out, that's the reason. I think he likes the court and he's still the favourite to win.

"I had a good record against him. But, you know, he beat me easily in the US Open. When he plays his best, I just need to make sure that every time I play him I play pretty well. Otherwise, I am going to lose."

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see also
Murray reflects on a great 2008
05 Nov 08 |  Tennis

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