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Murray Primed For Asian Swing Hattrick

Shanghai, China

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray unveiled a terracotta statue of himself on Tuesday.

World No. 4 Andy Murray appears at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in search of a third straight ATP World Tour title on the Asian swing.

"[I] went into this stretch with the right mindset," said Murray, who has lifted silverware at the PTT Thailand Open (d. Young) and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (d. Nadal).

"After the US Open finished, [I] sat down [and] kind of made some goals between now and the end of the year. [I] gave myself that extra little motivation, that extra little push for the last few tournaments."

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Murray has won 21 of his past 22 matches and is vying to lift his fifth ATP World Tour trophy of the year, which will further boost his chances of finishing No. 3 in the year-end South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.

"I didn't really play less than the year before, I just didn't win very much," said Murray. "But I feel better. I've been doing things more professionally this year. I've been looking after my body better. I've taken necessary breaks. I've just been trying to pace myself a bit better, and that's definitely helped."

Last week, at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Murray won both the singles and doubles titles. He admits he may never again repeat his third-set performance against Nadal.

"It happens sometimes when you're playing right at the top of a sport," said Murray, who beat Nadal 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. "A few per cent difference here or there. I mean, what happened in the third set, it probably never happened to him before, and I'll probably never play a set of tennis again like that on the tour. It's just one of those sets where I hardly missed a ball.

"I wish it happened every day, but the reality is it's not going to be like that."

The 24-year-old Murray will be looking to win his eighth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Shanghai. He has a 50-11 match record on the season and meets Dmitry Tursunov in the first round. 

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