DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Murray On Top Of The World
by ATP Staff|
World No. 4 Andy Murray proved he has a head for heights on Saturday as he went to the top of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at more than 828 metres. The Scot is preparing to compete at next week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he is one of eight Top 10 players in contention.
"The weather’s been beautiful the past few days when we’ve been practising," said Murray, who has twice before reached the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament. "They’ve done a really good tournament; they look after the players really well. I get to do things like this, which you don’t get to do at many other tournaments.
"I’m looking forward to the tournament. I’ve prepared well for it. I was over in Miami for 10 days before I came here. It’s very fast conditions, very quick courts, so took me a few days to get used to that. I like it here and hopefully can have a good run.
The 24-year-old Murray is set to play his first tournament since reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open – his fifth successive major semi-final – where he was beaten in five sets by eventual champion Novak Djokovic, who will also be competing in Dubai next week.
"I think I’m very, very close [to winning a Grand Slam], just got to keep working hard and it will come," said Murray, who has reached three major finals, most recently at the 2011 Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). There’s not one huge thing I need to change in my game. I’ve been playing good tennis in all of the Grand Slams, I’ve been very close a few times and I’ll get there soon."
After taking in the views from the observation deck, including sights such as The World – a group of reclaimed islands off the coast, Murray showcased his footballing skills on a specially laid mini-pitch, with the help of fitness trainer Matt Little.
"I grew up playing football. I played till I was about 15, until I decided I was going to play tennis full time," explained the Dunblane native. "I still play a lot of five-a-side football as much as I can with my friends back home, but just got to be careful with injuries and stuff. I still love playing. It’s a completely different sport to tennis; I used to love being surrounded by all my friends and sharing wins or goals."
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begins on Monday, with four-time former champion Roger Federer joining Murray, defending champion Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish, Janko Tipsarevic and Juan Martin del Potro in the stellar line-up.