ANDY MURRAY ARRIVES IN ABU DHABI A NEW MAN [Sport 360, 26 Dec]
..... Four years ago, we were treated to a phenomenal final between Murray and Nadal, which the Scot eventually won 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Hopes of that rematch at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City were dashed after Nadal’s withdrawal with a stomach virus.
But should Murray get past world No9 Janko Tipsarevic, a final showdown with Djokovic is still on the cards to whet the appetite of those watching in Abu Dhabi.
But the Murray who will kick-off proceedings on Thursday is not the same player who wowed the UAE crowd in 2008. He is stronger, faster, and armed with confidence like he’s never had before now that he’s an Olympic and Grand Slam champion.
The 25-year-old says his exploits in 2012 have changed the way he feels about himself. “I find it easier to walk around with my head up, whereas, before I was always head down, not wanting anyone to see me or say anything,” says Murray, who comes to Abu Dhabi fresh off an intense training period in Miami.
“Maybe I felt that having lost in Grand Slam finals I was letting whoever it was down. I know I had been reminded every day for the last six years that it’s this long since someone from our country won a Slam.
“So there was part of me probably that felt a little bit of responsibility. It’s nice not to have worry about that anymore and see what else I can achieve. Since the Olympics I just feel a bit better about myself.”
Murray believes the MWTC can give him some much-needed preparation for the Australian Open, and is happy to commence his season in Abu Dhabi. He says: “It’s a good way to start the year. You’re practising against the best players in the world.
“The guys that played there the last few years have gone on to be very successful in Australia as well. So I think before you start playing tournaments, it just gives you a little bit of extra sharpness because you’re playing against the best players.”.....
Full article: http://www.sport360.com/article/andy-murray-arrives-abu-dhabi-new-man