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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Sunday, 2 January 2011

Andy Murray focused on improving serve at Hopman Cup

Andy Murray
Murray has been practising in the Perth sunshine ahead of the Hopman Cup

World number four Andy Murray says he must improve his serve if he is to break his Grand Slam duck in 2011.

Murray starts his season with fellow Briton Laura Robson at the Hopman Cup in Perth on Monday as he prepares for the Australian Open later in January.

"I've worked a lot on my serve and I'll keep working on it," said Murray.

"I think from the baseline I've matched up well with Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] but I'll need to serve well and return well if I want to beat them."

By competing in the Hopman Cup for the second year running, Murray is looking to repeat the formula which helped him make a flying start to 2010.


Murray and Robson reached the final of the mixed team event, with Murray going on to make the final of the Australian Open.

"This tournament for me last year was perfect preparation," the 23-year-old added. "It's good to get you in shape at the beginning of the year. It really helped my net game playing here last year, especially in mixed.

"I played eight matches, and had the opportunity on the off days to practise outdoors. It makes a huge difference going into the Aussie Open and and that's why I decided to do it again."

Murray is eyeing the hard courts of Melbourne Park, where the Australia Open starts on 17 January, as an opportunity to win a first Grand Slam title.

Twelve months ago, he knocked out defending champion Nadal en route to the final, but was beaten in straight sets by Federer.

Murray 'gutted' after Federer defeat

"Last year's Aussie Open was one of the best events I've played in my life. I played some of my best tennis, so I'll have to play even better if I want to win, because Rafa and Roger are playing so well just now," he said.

Murray ended 2010 with a narrow defeat to Nadal in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour finals in November, a performance which gave him plenty of confidence going into 2011.

"It was a great match, one of the best I'd played in during the year," said Murray, who lost out in a final set tie-break.

"I think both of us played to a really high standard and it was a good way in many ways to finish the year.

"It would have been great to have won the match but at the same time having lost I realised that I played a great match but I still need to get better if I want to beat Rafa and Roger in the Slams."

Murray and Robson face Italy in their first Hopman Cup group match on Monday, with 16-year-old Robson taking on French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at 0130 GMT before Murray plays Potito Starace, with the mixed doubles concluding the tie.

The US and France complete the line-up in Group B, while Serbia, Belgium, Australia and Kazakhstan are playing in Group A, with the two group winners playing in the final next Saturday.

Rafa Nadal celebrates after beating Andy Murray

Murray falls to Nadal in final set tie-break

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see also
Murray confirms Corretja as coach
20 Dec 10 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Murray hopes in epic
27 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Murray and Robson beaten in final
09 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis

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