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Andy Murray is heading into the US Open next week in a much better position than 12 months ago.

The pressure should be off the British number one's shoulders somewhat after he managed to finally claim a Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows at the end of last summer before he then followed it up with his memorable triumph at Wimbledon.

In one sense, Murray has now proved to his doubters in the tennis betting that he can do it when it matters most and the fact he now has two of the four big titles in his locker ahead of the New York tournament shows how good a 12 months the 26-year-old has had.

However, the Scot appears to have a real appetite to go on and dominate the game as best he can so now a new type of pressure is coming his way.

One of the great champions of the past 15 years, Pete Sampras, has tipped Murray to do well in the US next week and believes he is now perfectly equipped mentally to reign in men's tennis than ever before. Sampras reckons he has seen a change in the Briton and says he can now handle that side of the game much better.

As Murray becomes more successful in the big tournaments, more plaudits are inevitably coming his way. John McEnroe, himself a four-time winner of the US Open, has also been impressed with the Wimbledon champion's achievements but has warned him about that new pressure he will feel as he is now the player most of the others want to beat.

"On the one hand he's done it, so that's amazing," said McEnroe. "On the other hand, you're the hunted more than you were in the past."

"People are going to be gunning for him even more. I think he's found that a little bit since playing Wimbledon."

Murray will probably say he feels less pressure now because he has managed to secure a couple of the big titles in the past year after several years of near misses but there is certainly more expectation from fans who bet on tennis. And only time will tell if he can take the next phase in his career in his stride.
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