Robredo looking to reach new tennis heights
PERTH: With a second Hopman Cup and victory over world No.4 Andy Murray to his name, Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo is heading towards the Australian Open full of confidence.
Robredo was unbeaten in his four singles matches here en route to his second title at the mixed teams tournament.
The world No.16's form improved with each outing during the week, giving him belief that he was ready for one of the best years of his career.
He beat world No.34 John Isner and then was a set up when Romanian Victor Hanescu retired.
Robredo then thrashed former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets before stunning a rampaging Murray, who said he couldn't have played much better, by coming from a set down to win the final.
The 27-year-old, who had little time to celebrate as he was straight on a plane to Auckland to complete his Australian Open preparations, said his early season form was even better than he expected.
"Leaving here without losing any matches is great, it's better than I was expecting," he said.
"Tonight I'm flying to Auckland because next week I'm playing another tournament and I want to keep playing my best.
"I'm not going to stop now after winning this title so this is great but it's already the past.
"Now we have to look forward for the next week for the Aussie Open which is the most important tournament and the first (grand slam) one of the year.
"Hopefully I can keep playing like this and if I do I'm going to rise to the top rank I'm sure."
At an age when many players would be lowering their expectations, the Spaniard has set himself the goal of breaking new ground in the grand slams in 2010, as well as returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2007.
The remarkably consistent Robredo, who hasn't been outside the top 25 since 2003, has five times reached the quarter finals of a grand slam and on 11 occasions made the fourth round, but never survived to the semis.
Last year, he made the quarter finals at the French Open, the fourth round at the Australian and US opens, and the third round at Wimbledon.
"Obviously, as I said all of the time in interviews, I did a great thing on my career -- all of the time to be on the top 20, top 30 all of my career," he said.
"So this is a great achievement but I never reached the semi-finals in a grand slam so that's the thing I would like to try and that's why I'm working hard every day.
"To finish a grand slam knowing I'm in the semi-finals or in the finals or winning - I never could achieve those things so I'm looking forward to try this and in a week I'm going to have the chance to play for that.
"I'm going to be looking forward to do a great thing in a great tournament so that's my goal."