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Golden Boy Murray In Confident Mood

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray is bidding for his first major title to add to an Olympic gold medal.

Andy Murray goes into the US Open believing more than ever that this could be the scene of his first major title. An Olympic gold medal will do that for you.

The Scot was runner-up at Flushing Meadows in his first Grand Slam final in 2008 (l. to Federer) and has gone onto reach three more major finals, losing out at the Australian Open in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic) and at this year’s Wimbledon, falling agonisingly to Roger Federer.

However, four weeks after his Wimbledon disappointment, the 25-year-old Murray returned to Centre Court and dispatched Federer in three straight sets in the London 2012 Olympics gold medal match. Was it a career-defining moment for the Scot?

"Obviously winning the Olympics was the biggest win of my career, that's for sure," said Murray in New York on Saturday. "It meant a lot to me. I feel confident in myself just now. That's what's important. But I needed to make sure that afterwards, I worked hard. That's the most important thing.

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"Whether you're confident or not, 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."

Murray insists he is unconcerned by early defeats at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in the lead up to the US Open, reminding journalists that prior to his run to the Wimbledon final he had been beaten in the second round of the AEGON Championships at The Queen’s Club (l. to Mahut). Having been the focus of the media attention in his native Great Britain earlier in the summer, the Dunblane native is well placed to comment on the pressures facing American hopefuls in New York.

The United States has not had a homegrown champion at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick triumphed in 2003 (d. Ferrero), but has four players in the Top 30 competing for this year’s US Open crown, including last week’s Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner.

"The past few years a lot of the same guys have won the slams and been in the last few stages of the slams. Pretty much all of the American players are very dangerous because of their game style. Mardy [Fish] and Andy [Roddick] obviously are two of the older ones with experience and have big serves. When they play well, they can be very, very tough to play against.

"And then Isner, he just won the tournament in Winston Salem. [Sam] Querrey was in the semis there. He's had a very good summer. Winning [the US Open] is incredibly tough. I know that. But those guys have big games, and if they can string it together for a few matches, then they can get themselves deep in the event. Then anything can happen."

On an aside, it could be that Murray does not put much stock in dreams, but the right-hander may be hoping for a telling one ahead of the US Open. He revealed to the media how his mind has played tricks on him overnight in recent weeks.

"Four days after Wimbledon I dreamt I won Wimbledon, and I woke up in the morning and I was just starting to feel better," he laughed. That didn't help. Then a few days after the Olympics, I dreamt that I lost in the final of the Olympics. Obviously waking up remembering that I had won was nice."

Have there been any nocturnal signs about the US Open?

"Not yet, not yet," quipped Murray, "but I'll keep you posted."

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US Open, New York, Andy Murray

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