The pressure is certainly building on Andy Murray to finally end his Grand Slam hoodoo at the upcoming Australian Open and it will not be injury troubles that prevent the Brit claiming success.
Like many of the top players in the world, injuries set in towards the end of last season, with a groin complaint causing his withdrawal midway through the ATP World Tour Finals.
However, Murray is now fully over his injury and is currently training in Miami to ensure he is best prepared to go the distance in the Australian Open.
Melbourne has been Murray’s favoured Grand Slam venue in the past, as he has reached the final in both of the last two years but found Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic too good.
Therefore, he will be hoping that it is third time lucky in 2012 and that the Australian Open represents the start of a productive year.
Murray previously said: “The surface over there is very good for me and I do like the conditions and the warm weather so, hopefully, I can have another good run.”
The Australian Open odds have Murray priced at 5/1, which is fourth in the betting behind defending champion Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and the ATP World Tour Finals victor Federer.
Djokovic may have been the star of 2011 thanks to his three Grand Slam successes, but Murray has beaten the world number one in four of their last five meetings on hard courts.
Meanwhile, Murray’s win rate in his career showdowns with Federer is fairly even and the Brit triumphed in hard-court finals in both Toronto and Shanghai against the Swiss maestro last season.
Thus, it is Nadal who Murray may most fear in the draw given that the Spaniard regularly comes out on top in their encounters.
Nadal won semi finals against Murray in both the US Open and Wimbledon last season and has the power in his game that has caused problems in the past.