Murray backed for Grand Slam glory

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Andy Murray beats David Ferrer in the semi-final of the men's singles at the Australian Open

Locals in Andy Murray’s home town have said they are keeping the “champagne on ice” ahead of Sunday’s Australian Open final.

The 23-year-old Scot overcame a shaky start to beat David Ferrer in four sets and book a showdown with world number three Novak Djokovic.

Fans in Dunblane were united in their support for him – and said they expected him to return from Melbourne with his first Grand Slam trophy.

Tom McLean, who runs the Dunblane Hotel, said: “I thought he would have a tough match, but I knew he would have the guts to slug his way through.

“He can absolutely go on to win it. I’m only disappointed he won’t be meeting Federer in the final.

“Andy has improved his game and his attitude and we’re all very proud of him.”

Moira Cook, who works in the Sherrifmuir Inn just outside Dunblane, said: “Everyone is very excited and we are all so proud of him – he’s done so well. Of course he can win – there’s no reason why he shouldn’t at all.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Andy Murray’s skill, character and grit shone through and carried him to a well-deserved victory – he has a fantastic opportunity to win his first Grand Slam.

“The whole nation is behind Andy, and he has a spirited and vocal group of fans in Melbourne. He is at the top of his game, playing wonderful tennis, and I believe Sunday will be Andy’s day.”

One of Murray’s ex-coaches, Brian Melville, said his former protege had “worked his socks off” over the past year, and was cautiously optimistic about his chances in the final.

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