Tennis: Andy Murray says higher fitness levels have put him closer to a first grand slam success

• The 21-year-old Scot inspired by US Open feats
• Success is attributed to higher levels of fitness

Andy Murray says his goal is to win a grand slam title in 2009 after his most successful season to date this year where he won five ATP titles and reached the final of the US Open.

The Scot is determined to become the first British man to land one of the big four tournaments since Fred Perry in 1936.

"I feel like I'm much closer to winning a grand slam now," said the 21-year-old. "I always dreamt of winning one but you don't believe it until you get very close, like I did in the US Open."

Murray's maiden grand slam final appearance helped propel him up the rankings, along with ATP Masters victories in Cincinnati and Madrid. Despite his defeat by Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows, he is convinced he can go one better next year.

"That gave me the confidence to go on the run that I have," he said. "It's made me much more motivated to work hard this off-season to give me the best chance of doing it next year. I think it's do-able but it's going to be very hard — there's no getting away from that. I think that I've got a chance of doing it. I'll be giving it my best shot."

Murray credited his most productive year to his new coaches. The Scot chose to work with a training team of fitness experts Jez Green and Matt Little and the former Davis Cup player Miles MacLagan after parting company with the American coach Brad Gilbert in November 2007.

"The physical side has been the most important thing and, from that, my serve's been more consistent, my ground strokes have been a little bit harder and I've been able to last longer in matches."

Contributor

Everton Gayle

The GuardianTramp

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