- ATP Tour
Murray out to make Miami home advantage count
Andy Murray is desperate to get back to winning ways and hopes both playing in comfortable surroundings in Miami and his coach Ivan Lendl can help him achieve this.
The reigning US Open champion suffered a surprise defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells last week. He had taken the opening set against the big Argentine - who went all the way to the final only to lose to Rafael Nadal - but lost out in the quarter-finals after falling apart in a deciding set.
With the Sony Open beginning this week in Miami, Murray is aiming to take advantage of being on territory he can call close to home.
The Scot has an apartment and practices in the Florida state during the off-season, and the 25-year-old believes he can benefit from that at the second ATP Masters 1000 event of the year.
"I would hope by Miami I should be playing much better than I did last week," Murray was quoted as saying in the Scotsman.
"I obviously know the conditions well there, I practice there regularly. I'm comfortable in Miami.
"I was not feeling great going into Miami last year. We had some weird walkovers and stuff, which helped, and I had a decent tournament but I hope that this year I will play better tennis.
"I feel more comfortable on the court. Regardless of how you do sometimes, so long as you get matches, you're going to feel better and I got six matches last week, which is way more than I've had in the last few years in Indian Wells.
"That should help going into Miami, especially physically. It doesn't matter how much training you do, when you play matches it's different movements, you can't really replicate it so that's what I needed."
The relationship with tennis legend Lendl has worked wonders for Murray since the beginning of 2012, as the Brit enjoyed a breakthrough season by winning his maiden grand slam at the US Open and clinching the gold medal at London 2012.
And it is Lendl who Murray is turning to to inspire him in Miami.
"Having him around helps everyone because of his experience, his understanding of the game and these sort of situations," Murray, striving to add to his one and only triumph in 2009, said.
"When I spoke to him after my last match and I wasn't happy with the way I played, he's very much 'don't worry about it, you can't expect to play perfect after taking a break like that.
"I feel like, when I play on those courts [in Miami], I can open up a bit more, play aggressive and time the ball better so I would hope that, if I can get through a round or two in Miami, I'll start to play better and better."