/ Tennis

Andy Murray looking to benefit from summer momentum

Updated: Saturday, 25 Aug 2012 21:57 | Comments

Andy Murray (r) defeated Roger Federer (l) in the Olympic final
Andy Murray (r) defeated Roger Federer (l) in the Olympic final

Andy Murray is hoping he can carry the momentum of his golden summer into his latest bid for grand slam glory at the US Open.

The world number four begins his campaign in New York on Monday with a first-round match against Russia's Alex Bogomolov on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows' main arena.

And Murray's run to the Wimbledon final and especially his thrashing of Roger Federer to win Olympic gold mean he very much shares top billing with the Swiss and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

It is three weeks since the Scot stood on Wimbledon's Centre Court and watched the Union Jack flying high, and if a week is a long time in politics then it is an eternity in sport.

But beating Djokovic and Federer back to back was undoubtedly the greatest achievement of Murray's career so far, and one that has given him extra belief.

The 25-year-old said: "A week in sport can be quite a long time. There has been a number of weeks since Wimbledon and a number of weeks since the Olympics as well. The one thing it has given me is a bit more confidence.

"But I needed to make sure that afterwards I worked hard. That's the most important thing. Whether you're confident or not confident, providing you work hard and you do all the right things in training, then you'll get a good result.

"That was the most important thing, to make sure I kept my feet on the ground and keep working hard and try to improve."

While the gold medal is so fresh that Murray has not yet found a place to keep it, he has already been handed a chastening defeat.

After pulling out of the Toronto Masters with a slight knee problem after one match, Murray was then beaten in the third round of the Cincinnati Masters by France's Jeremy Chardy.

Federer and Djokovic met in the final, with the Swiss world number one coming out on top to make himself the man to beat, but Murray does not believe much can be read into those tournaments.

He said: "I do not think it's going to have much bearing at all. I have had enough practice. Going into Toronto and Cincinnati, I had no practice on the hard courts. After Toronto I had to take a few days off as well. In some ways it was good.

"I've played some of my best tennis in Australia when I have not gone in there really playing that many competitive matches beforehand. So long as I have trained well and practised well, that's what gives me the most confidence.

"I went into Wimbledon this year having lost in the first round of Queen's. That was meant to be a horrible preparation, but Wimbledon worked out fine. So there's no reason why that can't happen here."

While Murray hopes he can continue his progress at the US Open, Flushing Meadows will witness the final episode in the career of one of its favourite daughters, with three-time champion Kim Clijsters calling it a day after the tournament.

There are parallels between the two players' careers, with Clijsters having also lost her first four grand slam finals before breaking her duck at the 2005 US Open.

She had her greatest success, though, after coming back from a two-and-a-half-year spell in retirement from 2007 to 2009, winning two more US Open titles and one Australian Open.

Murray said: "Early in her career she had a lot of tough losses. She was competing against (fellow Belgian Justine) Henin a lot, and a lot of pressure came with that.

"She lost a lot of tough matches to Henin. Then she managed to turn that around after doing what she did, taking a break from the game. To come back to win slams is pretty incredible.

"I'm sure she will be remembered as one of the best players that played over the last 15 or 20 years, and also one of the best people."

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