Dubai champion Murray aiming to maintain momentum in USA
Andy Murray has targeted improved performances in Indian Wells and Miami after breezing to his first title of 2017 in Dubai.
World number one Murray beat Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-2 on Saturday to pull further clear of Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings.
And while Djokovic has maximum points to defend in the upcoming Masters 1000 events, Murray heads to the United States having suffered second-round exits in both Indian Wells and Miami in 2016.
In an on-court interview broadcast on Sky Sports following his success in Dubai, Murray said: "I struggled in Indian Wells and Miami last year, didn't play so well, but this week has given me great momentum going into that stretch and hopefully I can do well there."
Murray's routine final victory on Saturday offered a sharp contrast to his last-eight win over Philipp Kohlschreiber, in which he was forced to save seven match points during an epic second-set tie-break lasting 31 minutes.
"Obviously there was a bit of luck involved there," acknowledged the Briton.
"I came up with some good serves when I needed them. It was an amazing tie-break, it could have gone either way and often when you get through matches like that it settles you down for the rest of the tournament.
"Once I got going today I was moving well and finished strong.
"It's always nice to win any tournament but especially ones you haven't won before. I'm very happy to do it here for the first time and it's been a good start to the year."