The team assess Andy Murray's Australian Open chances

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09: Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 9, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Andy Murray warmed up for the 2013 Australian Open by winning the Brisbane International but will he be able to follow up in the year's first Grand Slam at Melbourne Park?

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Andy Murray enjoyed the best year of his life in 2012. He won Gold and Silver medals at the London Olympics and then followed up by becoming the first British man to win a Grand Slam event when claiming the US Open title. 

Now that the monkey is off his back many pundits are expecting Murray to kick on and make an assault on the world number one position in 2013 and the Scot made the perfect start by winning a pre-Australian Open warm up tournament in Brisbane last week. 

He is second favourite, at 11/4 with Sporting Bet to claim the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, but can he stop treble seeking Novak Djokovic? We asked our tennis writers for their assessment of Murray's chances Down Under and whether 2013 will be the year when the 25-year-old comes of age.

Neil Roarty @neilroarty

How far will Andy Murray go in the Australian Open?
I'm a confirmed Murray fan having backed him at the US Open and I'll be backing him to win again in Melbourne. The Scot has reached the final here in two of the last three season and was pretty unlucky not to do so again last year. This time around he's mentally stronger, having won at the Olympics and the US Open, and I think that both Federer and Djokovic are worse. I don't see the former winning another Grand Slam in his career and I think Murray can beat the latter in a tight final.

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year?
Two. I think he can win the Australian Open and I'd make him a pretty strong favourite at Wimbledon. He should have beaten Federer last year and made up for it at the Olympics. He'll do it this year though. Nadal will be fit for the French Open and so will win that one. The US Open will be the tightest of the four and Murray might just come up short in a battle of wills with Nadal or Djokovic. Not sure if that will be enough to make him world number though, given the prevalence of clay court Masters events.

Ian Horne

How far will Andy Murray go in the Australian Open?
Murray can go all the way. He's made an incredibly strong case for a 'big four' in men's tennis over the past year and the only thing that he lacks is a little consistency. Also, with Rafa out of action his chances have undeniably been given a boost. Despite this, the presence of Novak Djokovic is hard to ignore. My prediction is that Murray will make it to the final or the semi's. I'd put him on an equal footing with Roger Federer right now.

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year?
I think Murray will win a slam this year. The Aussie Open has often been a strong event for him, and Murray made it abundantly clear last year that he's a big force at Wimbledon and the US Open. Of these three events he might be able to win one. Nadal should be fit for the French Open though so I'd consider that one a write-off.

David Cox @livetennis

How far will Andy Murray go in the Australian Open?
I'm backing him to win the title. He's made the final twice before so he knows what it takes to deal with the conditions. I think Federer might be undercooked and Djokovic didn't look that great at the Hopman Cup. 

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year?
I think he'll win 1 but I don't think he's got the game to be dominant enough to win more than 1 in a season. If I was going to predict I'd say Djokovic to win the French Open and US Open and Federer to win Wimbledon again.

Raymond Doyle @RaymondDoyle1

How far will Andy Murray go in the Australian Open?
Has a great record of getting to finals in Melbourne so I fancy Murray to beat Federer in the semi-final and lose in four sets in the final to Djokovic!

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year?
I'll go for one. Think he'll finally win Wimbledon. Djokovic will win the other three but fingers crossed Rafa Nadal comes back to his best for the French Open.

Jon Wilde @jonwildemcr

How far will Andy Murray go in the Australian Open?
He'll go all the way, and deserves to do so based on his previous performances in Melbourne. Having lost out in a titanic semi-final struggle with Djokovic 12 months ago, the Briton will be keen to avenge that result notwithstanding his US Open triumph against the Serb.

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year?
One, two at the most if he can retain the US Open. It’s doubtful whether he will ever win the French Open, especially for as long as Nadal remains the man to beat on clay, and it may take another year or two before he finally cracks Wimbledon. The US Open looks, at this stage, a toss-up between Murray and Djokovic.

Steven Webb

How far will Andy Murray get? 
Murray can go all the way for sure, but he looked a little sluggish at times in Brisbane, and is liable to get even more frustrated over five sets. I don't see him losing early, but I'd put him behind Djokovic and a well-rested Federer as title favourite. We should see Murray in at least the semi-finals though.

How many Grand Slams will Murray win this year? 
He is in the short list of candidates for all of the Grand Slams, but will have a tougher time at the French Open. That said, if Nadal isn't back to his best by then, Murray will have as good a chance as Djokovic or Federer at Roland Garros. I think Murray will win one Slam this year, most likely the US Open again.

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The team assess Andy Murray's Australian Open chances

Andy Murray warmed up for the 2013 Australian Open by winning the Brisbane International but will he be able to follow up in the year's first Grand Slam at Melbourne Park?

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