Andy Murray plays down psychological barrier


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World number one Andy Murray insists he no longer has a psychological barrier to overcome at the Australian Open, despite having never won the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

The Scot has reached the final of the Australian Open on five occasions – more than any of the other major events.

The 29-year-old has made it to at least the quarter-final stage on his last seven visits to Melbourne but he has previously spoken of a mental block when playing in Australia.

Murray, who can be backed at 2.50 to come out on top at the 2017 Australian Open, enjoyed his best year on the circuit in 2016 as he reached the finals of the Australian and French Opens, while winning Wimbledon and gold at the Rio Olympics to become the number one ranked player in the world for the first time.

The three-time Grand Slam winner started the 2017 campaign by reaching the final of the Qatar Open but fell at the final hurdle at the hands of world number two Novak Djokovic.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist is currently in Australia as he looks to acclimatise ahead of the first major of the year and he has played down suggestions that he still struggles with issues in Melbourne.

Murray said: “I don’t feel like I have mental hurdles now. I feel like I’m past that, to be honest. “I just go there and give my best to win.

So long as I give my best effort, I don’t judge myself or feel like I’ve failed here (Melbourne) or anything like that.”