Although he says life hasn’t changed since winning his maiden Grand Slam title, Andy Murray appears to have landed on Australian soil with a far more relaxed mindset than this time last year.
Speaking ahead of the Brisbane International, Murray revealed he no longer felt the well-publicised pressure that came with being the only member of the ‘Big Four’ not to have won a major title.
He was even able to make light of some of the unexpected perks that came along with his 2012 US Open crown.
“I got a few upgrades on flights and things like that, which is nice but that’s died down a little bit over the last few months,” he joked.
“Obviously the few weeks afterwards were very busy but once you start travelling and playing tournaments and the routine of training and practising – it hasn’t really changed that much to be honest, which has been nice.
“It was finally nice for me to finally be able to move on and not have to worry about that stuff anymore.”
Following that five-set triumph over Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, there was even talk in the British media about the prospect of a knighthood.
But Murray believes it’s far too early to even consider such a title.
“You need to do a lot for a long time to deserve an honour like that,” he said.
“At the US Open this year I met Sir Sean Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson and I think with the people around you (life) doesn’t change, it just kind of stays the same.
“It’ll be people you don’t know who will come up to you and address you as that.
“I mean, I wouldn’t want my friends and family to start calling me that.”
Looking to defend his 2012 Brisbane title, the 25-year spent a physical pre-season in the US where he worked on – among other things – a few technical changes to his first serve.
“I’ve prepared really well in Miami and trained really hard to get ready for the new season to be successful,” he said.
“You need to just keep improving on the things that you have. With the strength at the top of the game right now, there’s not many weaknesses in many of the guy’s games.”
Murray’s biggest threat to defending his Brisbane title appears to be Canadian heavy-hitter Milos Raonic, who holds a 2-1 record over the Scot.