Andy Murray is ready for Australian Open despite 'difficult' draw

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Melbourne Park
Andy Murray
Andy Murray was runner-up at the Australian Open in 2010, 2011 and 2013
Australian Open 2015
Dates: 19 January-1 February Venue: Melbourne Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, selected live text commentaries and daily reports on the BBC Sport website

Andy Murray will begin his Australian Open campaign in confident mood on Monday despite a draw he says is "challenging".

The Briton, seeded sixth, will play Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri in his opening match at around 02:00 GMT.

Should he progress, Murray could find Grigor Dimitrov, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal standing between him and a place in the final.

"It's obviously a very difficult draw," the three-time Melbourne finalist said.

"If you have to play all of those players, it's going to be extremely difficult to come through that. I'm aware of that. That's fine.

"But often in these events there are upsets. It will be interesting to see how it goes but definitely it's very challenging."

Murray can at least take comfort from an encouraging start to the season, with an exhibition win over Rafael Nadal followed by three victories at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Yuki Bhambri
Yuki Bhambri has qualified for his first senior Grand Slam tournament

Coach Amelie Mauresmo and fitness trainer Matt Little took charge of the Scot's winter training block in Miami, following the departure of Dani Vallverdu and Jez Green, and Murray is relishing the new set-up.

"It was a slightly different set-up, with different people working on each part of my training, and it was good," Murray said.

"It was fresh, new ideas, and we worked on a lot of things. We had a good time which makes the work a bit easier. I feel good."

He added: "I've read a lot about how you should divide your time between working on strengths and weaknesses.

"When I move well I tend to play well. I worked a lot on my speed and I think it's showed in the first few matches of the year.

"That's one of the things I've been most happy with so far."

Murray will be among the earlier starters to this year's tournament as he is scheduled second on Margaret Court Arena, at around 1pm local time.

Who is Yuki Bhambri?
Born: New Delhi, India
Age: 22 (04.07.1992)
Height: 6'1" (1.85m)
Current singles ranking: 314
Career-high ranking: 143 (Feb 2014)
Plays: Right-handed
Turned Pro: 2008
Career singles titles: 0

Bhambri, 22, is a former world junior number one and Australian Open boys' champion, ranked 314 in the world.

He came through three rounds to qualify for his first senior Grand Slam, having lost in the first round of qualifying for the past three years.

Bhambri was heading to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday to watch India play Australia, before taking centre stage himself on Monday.

"I think it's a great experience," he said. "It's going to be fun, I've got absolutely nothing to lose, so I'm going to try and give it my best.

"I've got to serve great and try and stay with him. Hopefully he's a bit rusty, a bit nervous, and I can use that to my advantage."

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