Murray looking to end wait for Dubai title

Murray looking to end wait for Dubai title
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Published February 6th, 2015 - 10:18 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Andy Murray
Andy Murray

Andy Murray is looking to end his wait for an elusive title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this month.

The Scot, who reached the final of the Australian Open last week, made headlines here in 2008, when he became only the third player in tournament history to eliminate a defending champion in the first round, with victory over Roger Federer.

Murray went on to lose to Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals that year, and reached the same stage in 2009 before defaulting the match against Richard Gasquet due to a virus. In 2010, he was narrowly upset in the second round by Janko Tipsarevic, but his best run in 2012 saw him reach the final, before Federer got his revenge.

Although he skipped the next two years, Murray apparently loves being in Dubai and even took time to practice at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium at the turn of the year ahead of an exhibition match in Bahrain.

“They’ve done a really good tournament,” he said in 2012. “They look after the players really well and I get to do things you don’t get to do at many other tournaments. I went to the Dubai Mall and went up the Burj Kalifa and I’ve had fun here seeing quite a few of the sights. The Mall is incredible. It’s absolutely massive. I’ve never seen a mall like it.”

While some players tire toward the end of the season, two-time grand slam winner Murray proved his stamina last year, when he won in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia and qualified to the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Earlier in the year, he had reached the semi-finals of the French Open, Acapulco and Beijing, before reaching the quarter-finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open.

“Last year, for me, was quite difficult,” he admitted on his website. “I was coming back from surgery at the start of the year and then I started working with a new coach, Amelie Mauresmo, just before Wimbledon. Then at the end of the season I made a few changes to my team.

“So, there were a lot of things to deal with but now, after the Christmas break, I feel good again. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I have felt this good. In terms of my mindset, I’d say a very long time.”

His partnership with Mauresmo, who won the 2002 Dubai women’s title as well as Wimbledon and the Australian Open, is going from strength to strength.

“Compared with some coaches that I’ve had, Amelie is very easy going,” said Murray. “She doesn’t act like she knows everything. For someone who was so successful as a player herself — she was the best in the world at what she did — she’s willing to learn and asks a lot of questions.

“I think that’s a very good trait to have. Having time together in the off-season has developed our relationship even further. Our communication is very good.”

Murray will need every bit of help he can draw on as he faces a terrific trio of world class opposition in Novak Djokovic, Federer and Tomas Berdych as well as a host of other top names.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships start with the WTA event from February 15 to 21, followed by the ATP tournament from February 23 to 28.

Tickets are available from the box office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Grandstand tickets can also be bought online at ww.timeouttickets.com. For more information log on to www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2015. All rights reserved.

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