- ATP Tour
Murray resets career goals
Consistency is the key going forward for Andy Murray, following his triumphant return to action at the Japan Open.
Murray stepped on court for a competitive match for the first time since ending his grand slam duck at last month's US Open. The Brit looked a shade rusty and required treatment at one stage, but he battled hard to claim a 7-6(7) 6-4 win over Ivo Karlovic.
A defence of the title he won 12 months ago is the short term goal for Murray, but he has plans to improve his consistency - with the world No. 1 spot a clear goal.
"Mentally I feel okay," Murray said after toppling the giant figure of Karlovic. "It's always hard coming into your first match after a few weeks of not playing. I'm pleased with how I feel physically, even if my body might be a little bit stiff."
Murray took a medical timeout at the end of the first set, but claims his back problem is nothing serious.
"My back jarred a little bit, but it can happen when you start playing matches again after some time off," he said. "I took a time-out at the end of the first set but it felt fine by the middle of the second set."
There are big contests ahead for Murray, with Masters events in Shanghai and Paris ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals. And after getting the grand slam win under his belt, Murray is determined to retain his focus.
"Maybe there is a bit more pressure," Murray said. "During the year there have been certain matches in which I haven't done myself justice, so I felt after the US Open that it was time to reset some goals.
"I don't want to say I was obsessed with grand slams, but winning one was so important that I was always looking ahead and bolting on to the next grand slam. Now I hope I can concentrate better throughout the year and not take my eye off the ball in any of the tournaments I play in."