It is one thing to pull off a great shot in training, but something completely different to do it in a competition and Andy Murray is looking strong in his preparations for the Australian Open later this month.
The Scot enjoyed a superb 2012, as he managed to get rid of the elephant in the room by winning the US Grand Slam in New York.
As an added bonus Murray bagged the gold medal on home soil in the Olympic Games men’s singles event to make him soon forget the heartbreak of losing the final at Wimbledon just weeks before.
If they were not high before, the expectation levels surrounding Andy Murray in 2013 will be even higher, and many eyes will be on the Scotsman come January 14 when the first Grand Slam of the year gets underway in Melbourne.
Murray, who is second favourite behind Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open 2013 betting is preparing for the major event by taking part in the Brisbane International and has already seen off the challenge of the Australian John Millman.
The world number three was pleased with the win on Thursday but was more content with how he played, as ultimately the main goal this year will be to add another Grand Slam title to his US Open crown.
He said: “For a first match of the year, that was a perfect match in many ways to go through some tough moments, a lot of long rallies, close games, and important points.
“It was great to play in an atmosphere like that for the first match of the year, to get back into the swing of playing in front of large and loud crowds.
“No matter how much you practice, you can’t replicate those sorts of atmospheres.”