Simon Reed

Top two look too hot for Murray

Simon Reed

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British tennis fans will be hoping that the Australian Open will finally see Andy Murray lift his first Grand Slam title, but the big problem he has is the same one he faced last year - he's up against the two greatest players of all time.

Nadal goes into the tournament at the same level he was at last year - if not higher - and Federer is certainly better than he was at this time last year; so it doesn't look good.

Last year Murray was clearly the best player apart from those two going into the tournament, but Djokovic has rediscovered his form too, which is bad news.

However, the Australian Open is as good a chance as Murray has amongst the Slams. The surface suits him and he works extraordinarily hard in the off-season which can also bear fruit.

Andy probably works harder than any other player on tour and he's in as good shape as he was last year.

He played phenomenal tennis last year and I was optimistic going into the final but Federer, just as he has done in finals in the past, raised his game against Andy.

It must be so frustrating for Andy and I know he was shattered by losing to Federer. It took him time to get over that, but by the end of the year he was back playing his best tennis again.

I feel he is going to be play really well in Melbourne, but the problem is Federer and Nadal are playing unbelievably well at the moment and until he is able to beat them both in a Grand Slam, I don't think he can win one.

I do think, even after what happened in Australia, that he believes he can beat Federer on almost any occasion - but I'm not sure he goes in believing he will beat Nadal. Has he still got that mindset when he takes on Federer? I hope he has.

However, I do still see Andy as the next best bet after Nadal and Federer.

I think we're roughly at the same stage we were last year - I'm no less hopeful, but it's a very tough call to say that he can win it.

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