Just four days into the new year and Andy Murray already has two top-15 wins and a trophy under his belt. It’s a start to the 2015 season any player would dream of.
Even better news for the world No6 is the fact that scans he underwent yesterday at Al Noor Hospital on his left shoulder have shown no serious problems, although Murray admits that he is still feeling a bit sore.
The Scot could have had a tough decision to make yesterday on whether he should face Novak Djokovic in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) final with a sore shoulder or not.
Murray was seen clutching his left shoulder during practice at Zayed Sports City on Saturday and everyone was waiting for news on his participation in the final.
Instead, it was Djokovic who made a shock withdrawal due to illness and Murray was given a reprieve.
“I woke up this morning and felt okay. Then when I went to practice, it was still a bit sore when I was serving,” explained Murray after receiving his second MWTC trophy to follow his triumph in 2009.
“I had an ultrasound scan on it and the results of that were all clear and very positive.
“So that was good. But it was still a little bit sore when I was warming up today. But hopefully in a few days with some more rest and more treatment I’ll be absolutely fine when I get to Australia.”
Murray flew to Australia in the early hours of this morning where he will compete alongside fellow Briton Heather Watson in the Hopman Cup, an exhibition team inter-nation event in Perth.
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 3, 2015
He will spend the next week in Perth before heading to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, which commences on January 19.
The 27-year-old says he was generally pleased with his wins over Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez in Abu Dhabi and with how his preseason training had gone in Miami.
Murray explained how his preparation for the new season has been different than in previous years following the changes he has made to his team. Last November, the Scot parted ways with long-time friend and hitting partner Dani Vallverdu as well as with his fitness trainer Jez Green, who was replaced by Matt Little, who now has a bigger role in team Murray, being responsible for all his strength and condition training.
Murray says the shake-up has allowed him to try new things during the offseason and that working on his speed on the court has been an element of focus.
“I think with a lot of relationships in life, in business, sport, things kind of run their course and come to an end.
“The last few months weren’t so good, the atmosphere wasn’t like it used to be. It’s just time to move on and do different things,”
Murray said of his partnership with Vallverdu, who is now coaching Tomas Berdych, and Green.
Discussing how his training changed over the past few weeks, he added: “The training I did in the offseason is very different to the training I did last year in the offseason.
“Which was nice doing new things and embracing changes is a very important part of sport because things change all the time.
“You have new coaches and different people around, you need to accept that and look forward to it. So definitely my routines and the way of training has changed. And I like that, because I’ve been training the same way for a very long time.
“Working on my speed is something, I think, is a big asset in my game, when I move well around the court it makes a big difference to the way I feel when I’m playing.
“I hadn’t done much speed work at all for the last few years so it’s something that I wanted to get back to. Because I feel that it’s a strength of mine and it’s also important to work on your strengths.
“I feel that I moved well in Abu Dhabi and that’s a sign that the training has already started to pay off a little bit.”