Mur­ray keen to make his mark in Abu Dhabi

World No. 1 de­ter­mined to start new sea­son with a ti­tle

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Andy Mur­ray may have only just brought a mem­o­rable cam­paign to a close in Lon­don, but the world No. 1 is al­ready tar­get­ing vic­tory in his first tour­na­ment of the new sea­son in Abu Dhabi.

The Scot has en­joyed a mem­o­rable year, adding to his ma­jor haul when tri­umph­ing at Wim­ble­don and then de­fend­ing his Olympic gold medal in Rio.

He also made sure he ended the sea­son as the top-ranked player on the men’s tour thanks to a stun­ning straight sets vic­tory over long-time ri­val Novak Djokovic in the ATP World Tour fi­nal.

Now Mur­ray plans on tak­ing a short break be­fore re­turn­ing to ac­tion in the UAE cap­i­tal when he fea­tures in the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship.

“I’m now tak­ing some time to rest be­fore shift­ing fo­cus to the next sea­son, which for me starts in Abu Dhabi,” said Mur­ray.

“I’ve played [Jo-Wil­fried] Tsonga and [David] Gof­fin a cou­ple of times this sea­son and I know that a fi­nal for me in Abu Dhabi cer­tainly isn’t a given.

“I’ll be watch­ing their day one match closely to see what game they’ve brought to the tour­na­ment as play­ers tend to try new things there.

“It’s a chance to ex­per­i­ment and put what you’ve been work­ing on in the off-sea­son to the test against some great play­ers, which is what makes it such an ex­cit­ing tour­na­ment.”

Mur­ray has re­ceived a first-round bye in the Abu Dhabi tour­na­ment and will play the win­ner of Tsonga and Gof­fin for a place in the fi­nal.

The 29-year-old will play in the event for the fifth time, hav­ing tri­umphed twice be­fore in 2009 and 2015.

Also bid­ding for the win­ner takes all prize of $250,000 will be world No. 4 Mi­los Raonic, de­fend­ing cham­pion and 14-time ma­jor win­ner Rafael Nadal and big-hit­ting To­mas Berdych.

‘I’m tak­ing time to rest be­fore shift­ing fo­cus to next sea­son.’ – ANDY MUR­RAY

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