• Murray poised to win first Grand Slam

    1/15/12 9:17 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Murray poised to win first Grand Slam World No. 4 Andy Murray makes his return to competition for the third week of January, as Australia hosts the first Grand Slam of the season. The 2011 Australian Open finalist enters the tournament seeded fourth.

    World No. 4 Andy Murray heads to Melbourne with a 5-0 record, following his championship-winning run in Brisbane. The 24-year-old added ATP World Tour title #22 to his tally, having ousted Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-1, 6-3.

    Murray reached the 2011 Australian final where he fell to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. He is seeded fourth this year, placed behind the defending champion and former champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

    The Scot will have extra incentive to excel over the next two weeks, after announcing his partnership with legend Ivan Lendl during the off-season.

    “(Lendl) is a very hard worker. I like hard work as well. The last of couple of years especially my attention to detail has gotten much, much better. Obviously I was very young when he played. But he's obviously had a great attitude towards trying to improve. He tried many new things and he was always in great shape. He's definitely going to help with that side of things."

    Murray headlines a competitive quarter of the draw that includes: (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, (12) Gilles Simon, (14) Gael Monfils, (19) Viktor Troicki, (24) Kei Nishikori, (26) Marcel Granollers and (32) Alex Bogomolov Jr.

    He is slated to take on American Ryan Harrison in the first round. The closest seed to the 2011 Australian Open runner-up is Bogomolov, who looms as a possible third-round opponent. Further progress through the draw may set a round of 16 match with either Monfils or Troicki.

    Should the seeds hold, Murray looks to a likely quarterfinal contest with 2008 Australian Open finalist Tsonga.

    Continued success at the tournament could feature another clash between the Scot and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, with the winner moving through to the championship final.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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