Andy Murray has plenty of confidence entering the second round of the US Open, but the British fourth seed is not thinking about beating Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for a Grand Slam title just yet.
Photo: AFP "> Andy Murray Photo: AFP
The 23-year-old Scotsman advanced Wednesday by beating 71st-ranked Slovakian Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 after the ouster of his highest-ranked obstacle to a semi-final berth, Czech seventh seed and Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.
"You have to be switched on from the beginning of every tournament," Murray said. "Any given day if you are not up to your best you can lose early.
"I feel like I'm playing well, but I need to try and keep that level up if I want to win the tournament."
Australian Open runner-up Murray won his only title of 2010 in a US Open tuneup at Toronto, beating world number one Nadal in the semi-finals and 16-time Grand Slam winner Federer in the final for a mighty jolt of confidence.
"Toronto was a big boost for me, to win against Roger and Rafa. I feel good," Murray said. "I need to keep that up. I need to play my best."
Murray reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2008 US Open, losing to Federer in the final after upsetting Nadal in the semi-finals. But Murray was a second seed in last year's US Open only to make a fourth-round exit.
"I'm not really thinking that much about Roger and Rafa right now," Murray said. "That's disrespectful to all the other guys you might have to play on the road to get there to think about playing against them."
Next up for Murray is Jamaican Dustin Brown, who ousted Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.
"He's got big game, serve and volley stuff, good athlete, very different to a lot of players on the tour," Murray said. I haven't seen him play, another unknown."
In hot and sweltering weather, Murray hit eight aces and 27 winners in taking only one hour and 51 minutes to dispatch Lacko.
"It was good to get off quickly," Murray said. "I did enough to win in straight sets. That was the most important thing."
For all the things he used to combat the heat - ice bags, towels, a cap, sun block and sweatbands - it was his fitness work that helped the most, he said.
"Train hard, that's the biggest thing you can do for conditions like this," Murray said.