AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Melbourne Set Tone For Murray In 2012
by ATP Staff|
World No. 3 Andy Murray will wear the tag of Grand Slam champion for the first time at a major tournament when he takes the court for his first-round match against Robin Haase at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Murray was involved in one of the most exhilarating matches of the 2012 season at Melbourne Park, succumbing to Novak Djokovic 7-5 in the fifth set of their semi-final clash. Murray believes that performance set the tone for the rest of his year, which saw the Scot defeat Djokovic en route to winning the London 2012 Olympics and the US Open.
“It was a very important match for me in the context of my year,” said Murray. “I'm not frustrated that I got over that loss a lot quicker than I had some of my previous Slam losses. I felt like I played well. There was something I could really take away from it.
The 25 year old expanded on his ability to quickly brush aside his disappointment in Melbourne, and later his loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, explaining that he was satisfied with the way he executed the game plan he mapped alongside coach Ivan Lendl.
“It was my first tournament obviously with Ivan. We chatted a lot before the match with Novak,” Murray said. “When I sat down with him a month and a half beforehand, we discussed those sort of matches, how I was going to play and perform against guys like Novak, Roger and Rafa, tactics, how I was going to go about the match. I learnt to win those matches, I have to go out and do what I did that day.
“Even though I lost it, also the same thing happened at Wimbledon… I was playing the right way in those matches. I was taking my chances. I wasn't waiting for the guys to miss. I think that's why those two matches in particular I got over a lot quicker than the previous Slam final losses or Slam semi-final losses.”
The Dunblane native enters the tournament having successfully defended his crown at the Brisbane International (d. Dimitrov). He has a 1-1 record versus Haase, with both meetings coming on a hard court. Murray’s victory over the Dutchman was at the 2011 US Open, when he overcame a two-set deficit to prevail in the second-round encounter.
“He's very talented. I had a tough match with him at the US Open a few years ago,” recalls Murray. “He likes playing on big courts. He tends to come out firing and goes for big shots, playing extremely aggressive. So I'll need to be prepared for that.”