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Murray ‘More Relaxed’ On London Return

London, U.K.

Lendl, Murray© Getty ImagesIvan Lendl and Andy Murray prepare for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Andy Murray is accustomed to feeling the weight of expectation as the British No. 1, but shared Saturday ahead of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals that he felt less pressure this time around on his return to The O2.

“I feel maybe a little bit more relaxed coming in this year than I have done in previous years because I managed to win the US Open,” he said. “But there’s going to be pressure on me here to play well. The only thing I can guarantee is I’ll give 110 per cent on the court, fight as hard as I can till the end of all of the matches, see where that gets me. I hope it will get me a few wins.”

Murray has reached the final in his last two appearances on home soil, finishing runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in July before defeating the Swiss the following month in the gold medal match at the London 2012 Olympics, and will be playing his first tournament in Great Britain since his triumph at Flushing Meadows. He anticipated the moment when he’d step on court in front of his home crowd for the first time as Grand Slam champion.

“It will obviously be nice,” said the World No. 3. “I’m sure all the players will say it, it’s one of the nicest arenas to play in. The atmosphere is great and it’s packed from the first point of the matches right through to the end, which sometimes isn't always the case... Here it’s packed right from the start, for the warm-ups, for all the announcements. I’m sure it will be good.”

The 25-year-old Scot is attempting to become the first British player to win the season-ending championships. He reached the semi-finals on his tournament debut in 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and again in 2010, when he was edged by Rafael Nadal in a memorable match decided in a third set tie-break.

This year, Murray has been drawn in the same round robin group as Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and looked forward to renewing his rivalry with Djokovic, heralded by Boris Becker as the hottest ticket in tennis. “I’m always motivated when I play the best players in the world. I think if you’re playing at the top of any sport, you want to compete against the best guys. It’s the best mark of where your game’s at. I’ve always enjoyed that challenge.

“Whether me and Novak would replace anything Roger and Rafa have done, I think that’s a long way off. But I think some of the matches we’ve had this year - obviously in Australia, the US Open, then the match in Shanghai as well - I think were high quality matches, fun to watch. I’m all for playing more of those matches, if I can.”

Murray will open the singles action at the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals when he plays Berdych in the afternoon session Monday.

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