Murray inspired by top two
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:45
Murray will on Monday begin his quest to join the dominant players of his generation as a grand slam winner when his US Open campaign gets under way at Flushing Meadows with a first-round tie against Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. The British star reached last year’s final, beating Spain’s Nadal in the semi-finals but losing in straight sets to Swiss superstar Federer in the decider.
“One of the few things that I want to do now in tennis is to win a slam,” said Murray. “It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to do but something I believe is possible. I don’t feel as if I was unfortunate to be born in this era, I think it’s a great thing to be able to play alongside those two.”
While he has replaced Nadal as number two in the world during the Spaniard’s eight-week absence through injury, Murray recognises he and his peers have a tough time breaking up what he described as “the two best rivals ever”, with 21 grand slam titles between them, 15 of them Federer’s.
“I view Roger and Rafa as the two best rivals ever and I’m sure by the time they’ve finished they’ll have the most slams between two rivals by quite a long way,” Murray said at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre as he finalised his preparations for the final slam of the year.
“They’re obviously two of the best ever and it’s a pretty tough time to play with those sort of guys but at the same time I think you raise your game to the competition you play against.
“When I played those guys when I was younger I realised that I needed to get a lot better and work physically and I think my game’s gone in the last four five years to another level, physically.”
For Murray, though, their presence in the draw, with world number three Nadal, the current Australian Open champion, seeded to face the Scot in the semi-finals, means he assesses success in the grand slams differently.
He said: “You’ve got the two of the best players ever playing just now so it’s a little bit disrespectful to the other players to view it as being a failure not to get to the final.
“I’ll be disappointed, for sure, because I want to try and win every tournament I play in. But I think I have a good enough understanding of tennis that you can still have a good slam and not win it.”