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Andy Murray aims for Major gains after Davies Cup win

British ace out to mirror Djoko and build on Davis Cup triumph

By Eleanor Crooks

Published 01/12/2015

GHENT, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 30: The Great Britain team of Captain Leon Smith, Kyle Edmund, Andy Murray, James Ward and Jamie Murray talk during a press conference after their victory in The Davis Cup Final match between Great Britain and Belgium on November 30, 2015 in Ghent, Belgium. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)
GHENT, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 30: The Great Britain team of Captain Leon Smith, Kyle Edmund, Andy Murray, James Ward and Jamie Murray talk during a press conference after their victory in The Davis Cup Final match between Great Britain and Belgium on November 30, 2015 in Ghent, Belgium. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)

Andy Murray hopes he can emulate Novak Djokovic in turning Davis Cup success into a stellar season in 2016.

Djokovic's elevation to the top of the world game began after he helped Serbia win their first Davis Cup five years ago.

The following season he won three Grand Slam titles and has been the dominant force pretty much ever since, reaching 15 of the last 20 Major finals.

Murray had the most consistent season of his career in 2015 and finished it ranked No.2 in the world for the first time, but a Slam title eluded him.

Asked if the Davis Cup could be a springboard, he said: "I hope so. I'll try to use it as much as I can next year. The most important thing is to enjoy it now, but don't let it go on for three weeks and stop practising hard and going to the gym and doing everything properly.

"I need to train really hard in the off-season if I want to have a chance of making this count for next year. But it's definitely given me a boost going into the off-season."

The first major target for Murray will be the Australian Open in only seven weeks' time. The Scot reached the final for the fourth time this year but again came away on the losing side.

Before that, Murray is planning to rest for 10 days before heading to Dubai for a warm-weather training block and then back home for Christmas.

It is a tight turnaround but the 28-year-old is optimistic there will not be any lingering effects going into 2016, particularly because he is not planning to play any events in February while he takes time away for the birth of his first child.

Murray said: "I just need to make sure I get the rest right now because I've played so much tennis. If I do rest, it's not like I'm going to lose all of the match fitness that I've built up.

"I've played more matches this year than any other year and my body's responded really well to it. In February I know that I'm not going to be playing.

"I can rest now, start training for Australia and give everything I've got there and then I get a break.

"It might not be so much of a break but I'll be away from the court."

Murray described the achievement of winning Britain's first Davis Cup for 79 years as the most emotional of his career and was keen to ensure it was properly celebrated.

He said of the celebrations: "It was good. We all stayed in the hotel and all of our friends and family came round and we were just in a room in the hotel lobby.

"A lot of the fans that came over were staying so they were in the bar area and we got to chat and spend a bit of time with them as well, so it was nice."

Aside from Murray, who won 11 of Britain's 12 points this year, captain Leon Smith has been central.

He has overseen a remarkable rise from the brink of relegation to the bottom tier of the competition when he took over in 2010 to the top of the world.

Not surprisingly, the Lawn Tennis Association wants Smith to stay in the role, but it would be understandable if he felt this was the time for a change.

However, the Scot, who has ambitions to coach on the tour, insisted he has no current plans to resign and is already preparing for next year's first-round tie against Japan.

He said: "So much has gone into this year but also the years gone by that I've not thought about it. I've just really been focused on helping the whole group trying to achieve what they've done. That's it.

"I want to enjoy this and see what happens. We've already booked the stadium for March, but who knows?"

Belfast Telegraph

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