US Open champion Andy Murray yesterday admitted that winning his first Grand Slam had been a huge relief but said reaching the World No 1 ranking would be tough in an era of such intense competition.
The 25-year-old’s victory in New York last month was Britain’s first men’s singles win in a major since the 1930s, and led to inevitable speculation about when the Scot would reach the top spot for the first time.
The Shanghai Masters defending champion, currently World No 3 behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, whom he beat in the US Open final, said he was focussing on each tournament and achieving consistency. “I hope it gives me some more confidence when I’m on the court,” said Murray of his US Open triumph. “It was a big weight off my back at the time.” Murray, whose highest ranking was No 2, said the top spot was a reward for playing consistently good tennis throughout the whole season. “You need to focus more on the process and not so much just ‘number one, number one’. I need to concentrate on the tournaments and the events that I’m playing,” said the Scot. “I’ll try to do as well as I can between now and the end of the year. If I do that, there’s a possibility to get to No 1 next year. But it’s so hard to do just now because of what the guys ahead of me are doing every single week. But to get to No 1, you need to win Grand Slams. The Australian Open is obviously the next major focus for me.” Murray opens his defence of his Shanghai Masters crown today with a second-round match against Germany’s Florian Mayer.
Second round results
>> John Isner bt Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (9/7)
>> Marin Cilic bt Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-1
>> Fernando Verdasco bt Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-2