Shanghai: US Open champion Andy Murray has explained his decision to skip the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, saying he wants to give himself a better chance of winning at Indian Wells instead.
The 2012 London Olympics men’s singles gold medallist was one of the star attractions in Dubai this year, but the Briton won’t be returning for the next edition, which will be held from February 25 to March 2 next year.
Instead Murray will fly to Miami to train before making his way to California for the March 4-17 Indian Wells Masters event.
“I hadn’t played particularly well in Indian Wells the last few years. After the Australian Open this year, I went over to train in Miami afterwards, which I felt worked well. But I then flew back to Dubai and then back over for Indian Wells, so that beginning part of the year I was a bit tired for certain tournaments,” Murray said on the sidelines of the Shanghai Masters tournament here.
“With the travelling that I have to do, I have decided that, after the Australian Open, I’ll go home for a little while and then go over to Miami and train and stay over in America for a while, get used to the conditions and try and reduce the travel at the beginning of the year.”
Given the sizeable British population, Murray has always been a huge draw among tennis fans in the UAE. He was one of the star attractions when the season-opening exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship first launched in Abu Dhabi in 2009 and now, after missing the last three versions of the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex event, he will return in December.
The Scot is among the six-strong field that also includes defending champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Janko Tipsarevic from December 27-29.
After consistently being a challenger on the major stage but without any Grand Slam success, Murray made a huge dent in men’s tennis with his Olympics and US Open successes this summer. But the 25-year-old hopes his titles won’t mean he loses focus.
“I hope it hasn’t changed me in any way. I hope it gives me some more confidence when I’m on the court, that’s the one thing that I hope I would have got out of it,” he said.
“I haven’t felt so different. I felt a lot of relief as it was a big weight off my back at the time, so getting on the practice court, getting in the gym has become a bit easier probably.
“When you’ve had a lot of hard losses, you sometimes question whether doing all that stuff is worth it. When you’re on the court practising, always trying to improve and you’re not quite getting the results you want, that can be hard.”
Now all those days are behind him and he never has to answer any further questions on the topic of when his first major title would come. “Now after getting a Grand Slam title I’ve been asked what is it like not to be asked that question [of winning a grand slam] anymore,” Murray joked.