| Updated at: 1521 PST, Saturday, January 29, 2011|
MELBOURNE: Being feted as the great hope of British tennis means Sunday's Australian Open final against good friend Novak Djokovic is a genuine boom or bust experience for Andy Murray.
Win, and the 23-year-old will become one of Britain's biggest sporting heroes, feted for ending their 75-year men's Grand Slam drought that stretches all the way back to Fred Perry in the 1936 US Open.
However, lose a third Grand Slam final to his regular practice partner and good friend, and the whispers over Murray's mental toughness will become a deafening roar.
There is no doubt Murray has the game to win a Grand Slam, and he's shown he's got more tricks up his sleeve than almost any other player.
Murray's trademark running passing shot is the most spectacular in the game and his brilliant groundstrokes dominated last year's Australian Open highlights reel.
The question is whether he has the mental strength to take the final step and become a Grand Slam champion.
His two previous Grand Slam final appearances have both resulted in straight-sets defeats to Roger Federer, despite being one of the few players to boast a winning career record against the Swiss.
In both those matches, including last year's final here, Murray started tentatively and he can't afford to make that mistake against the in-form Djokovic, who won the title in 2008.
Murray was born in Dunblane, and is a survivor of a tragic school massacre in 1996 that left 15 children and one adult dead. He recalled hiding under his desk to escape the killings, committed by a family acquaintance.
He treats the media warily, perhaps because of the pressure put on him by the British press, and is sometimes targeted over his hang-dog demeanour.
However Murray, who has had Scottish comedian Billy Connolly in his box, is known by those close to him for his dry sense of humour, and he's needed it as the pressure has mounted to finally deliver success to British tennis.
Murray knows exactly what to expect to from Djokovic, the pair having first played each other in their early teenage years and developed a genuine friendship.
Djokovic has won four of their seven matches, but Murray has claimed the last three, including the 2008 Cincinnati and 2009 Miami-1000 finals.
Although he's feted by the British press now, Murray, a proud Scot, hasn't always enjoyed the best relationship with the London media.
He once commented that he would support whoever England was playing against in football's World Cup, and denied that he took any heart from England's Ashes cricket win against Australia.
But a Murray victory on Sunday and would cap a memorable spell for British sports fans, with many still basking in the glory of the Ashes triumph, which also broke a decades-long drought.