Cool Murray targeting grand start to New Year in Australia

BRITAIN’S Andy Murray insists he is ready to claim another grand slam at this month’s Australian Open, having broken his duck last year.

Murray, who is set to step up his preparations for the tournament by playing at the Brisbane International this week, believes his 2012 US Open triumph was a major psychological barrier overcome.

“The last few years I got close but never managed to get over the final hurdle. Now that I’ve managed to do it, I hope that when I’m in those situations again I’ll deal with them better,” said the Scot.

“I feel a little bit more relaxed than I normally do a few weeks before a slam. I prepared very well in Miami and trained hard to get myself ready for the new season, and I hope I can be successful here.”

World No3 Murray, who lost four grand slam finals before winning his first in September, received an OBE in the New Year honours list. The 25-year-old also claimed singles gold and mixed doubles silver at the London Olympics, but admits he is some way off the knighthoods awarded to cyclist Bradley Wiggins and sailor Ben Ainslie.

“You need to do a lot, for a long time, to deserve an honour like that,” he added. “I’ve only been doing it for a couple of years, so I think I’ll definitely need to win a few more matches.”