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Gold can lead to Grand Slams, says confident Andy Murray

By Paul Newman

In the small hours of this morning, after a round of media interviews that appeared to have been as exhausting as his on-court exertions at Wimbledon the previous day, Andy Murray looked down forlornly at his phone.

“My phone’s dead now,” the double Olympic medallist said at Team GB’s headquarters outside the Olympic Park. “I’ve had about 70-odd messages. I try not to be on my phone much during tournaments because you get all sorts of things going on, but I’ll sit down tomorrow and go through all of them and reply to everybody.”

Whether Murray finds enough time to respond to all the congratulations following his gold medal triumph in the singles and silver medal in the mixed doubles is another matter. The Scot is due to fly to Canada tomorrow for this week’s Toronto Masters. He plans to decide when he arrives whether or not to pull out of the tournament, as a number of other players have done following their Olympic exertions.

One of the reasons Murray wants to go to Canada is because he will be linking up there with his coach, Ivan Lendl, for the first time since Wimbledon. Lendl will not be at next week’s Masters event in Cincinnati but will rejoin Murray in the week before the US Open, which begins in 20 days’ time.

The US Open has always been one of Murray’s favourite tournaments and his confidence will be high following his first appearance in a Wimbledon final and medal-winning performances at the Olympics. However, he will take nothing for granted.

“In tennis your confidence can come and go quite quickly,” he said. “I hope I can have a good run in the next couple of weeks, but I haven’t played a hard-court match since March. Obviously right now I feel good. I’ve played very well in the last few Slams. I played very well in Australia and came very close to getting into the final there and obviously I played well at Wimbledon too. I hope I can do well there. It’s a court I love playing on. I love the hard courts in New York.”

Did Murray hope that his Olympic triumph would do the same for him as Serbia’s 2010 Davis Cup victory did for Novak Djokovic, who went on to win three Grand Slam titles last year and become world No 1?

“Obviously I would love that to happen, but you can’t predict,” Murray said. “The year that Novak had came out of nowhere. He had what I think is the best year anyone has ever had in tennis. I’m sure the Davis Cup helped with that, but there’s obviously more that goes into it.

“I hope this is a springboard to more success, but the US Open is in a few weeks and now I’m obviously going to be getting myself ready for that, doing all the right preparations. I’ll start there. If I can have a good run there – I’d obviously love to win the US Open – then it would be the perfect follow-up to this.”

Laura Robson, Murray’s mixed doubles partner, is also heading to the United States. She will be playing in two tournaments before the US Open, where she goes into the main draw by dint of her world ranking for the first time.

Murray said Robson had shown great maturity during the Olympics. “For the whole tournament she dealt with everything unbelievably well,” he said. “She’s still only 18 so she has a long career ahead of her. She’s improved a lot from the first time I played with her.

“On the court I would guess I have more experience, but I don’t really tell her what to do. She tells me where she’s going to serve and I tell her where I’m going to serve. Nobody is dictating anything. We’re just playing normal doubles. We weren’t over-thinking things. That’s why we did well.”

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