DOHA, Qatar — Andy Murray downplayed talk that he’s the favorite heading into the Australian Open after his successful defense of the Qatar Open title.
The fourth-ranked Murray defeated No. 8 Andy Roddick 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to win his first ATP title of the year, and ninth overall.
En route to the title, the Scotsman beat Roger Federer in the semifinals. He also defeated Federer and top-ranked Rafael Nadal last week in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
With the Australian Open starting in Melbourne on Jan. 19, Murray heads into the first major of 2009 in fine form.
“I feel good going into the Australian Open but after what happened last year, I don’t want to get too carried away,” Murray said. “I am one of the top guys, but I don’t know if I am the favorite at the Australian Open. There is Roger, Rafa and Novak (Djokovic), who won last year.”
A year ago, Murray lost in the first round to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who reached the final.
Murray travels to Australia after a convincing win over Roddick.