Murray confident first grand slam title is close

NEW YORK Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:48pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ever since he broke on to the senior tour more than four years ago, Andy Murray has been tipped as a future grand slam champion. Now he believes he is ready.

The Scot has reached two major finals, in Australia at the start of 2010 and in New York in 2008, losing to Roger Federer on both occasions.

But having beaten both Federer and world number one Rafael Nadal on his way to the title in Toronto earlier this month, the 23-year-old said he feels the breakthrough is close.

"I think there are very small differences (required)," Murray told reporters at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.

"Nothing drastic has to change. I just need to play my best tennis for the whole two weeks and hopefully I can do that here."

After reaching the Melbourne Park final in January, Murray's form dipped but snapped back into life to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon before hitting top form in Toronto.

In winning his first title of 2010, Murray showed off a more attacking style of play than usual, but he said he would tailor his style at the U.S. Open according to his opponents.

"I just need to play the game style that wins me the matches here," he said. "If I have to play ultra defensive in any of my matches, I'll play that way. If I have to play very aggressive, then I'll do that.

"It's just about winning. You have to adapt during matches and different situations, different opponents. I'll play the way that I think is going to win me the match."

Seeded fourth, Murray could have to beat Nadal and Federer back-to-back to win the title and he admitted that the Swiss could again be his biggest obstacle.

"I think from a player's point of view, he's still obviously one of the best players in the world, for sure," he said. "When the big tournaments come around, he's always one of the big favorites to win."

Federer has captured much of the attention going into the tournament thanks to an online video in which he appears to knock a can clean off a man's head with his serve.

Queried on the shot's authenticity, a coy Federer said a magician never reveals his tricks. But Murray was clear in his own mind.

"I like the advert, it was good fun," he said. "There's not a chance it's real, though."

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)