Andy Murray believes the United States Open represents his best chance of grand slam success because of the "hype and pressure" which surrounds British hopefuls at Wimbledon.
The 18-year-old Scot won his first ATP Tour title at the SAP Open in San Jose by beating Australian star Lleyton Hewitt 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) having ousted titleholder and world No 3 Andy Roddick in the semi-finals.
His exploits in the US in the last week have pushed him up to 47th in the world, three places behind British No 2 Greg Rusedski and only seven adrift of No 1 Tim Henman while, in the ATP Champions' Race rankings, Murray is 21st, with 43 points, ahead of Henman, 50th with 21.
Murray can improve on both Britons with a good showing at the tournament in Memphis this week.
Going to Wimbledon as British No 1 would surely mean a great deal of pressure and expectation on the Dunblane youngster who says victory at Flushing Meadows would mean just as much as triumphing at the All England Club.
He said: "The one thing I want everyone to try to realise back home is that there's 11 more months in the year.
"There's a lot of focus on tennis around Wimbledon and everybody puts so much pressure on the British play-ers there, whereas it might be easier for me to win a US Open - which is just as big an achievement as winning Wimbledon - because you're not around all the hype and the pressure.
"Wimbledon's not my favourite tournament, the US Open is my favourite tournament - I've won there as a junior and if I could pick a grand slam to win I'd take that one.
"If I was to have my best tournament at Wimbledon then that's great but if not I hope it's at one of the other grand slams."
Murray, whose career highlights have come primarily on the US hardcourt circuit, believes a lot of the pressure at Wimbledon comes from the increased press attention.
He said: "I had a few problems around the Australian Open (where he lost his first-round match to Juan Ignacio Chela in straight sets).
"In San Jose there weren't any of the press guys from Britain here, and last year I played my best tennis in America when none of the British press guys were there.
"It is pretty tricky because I come off the court and I have to be careful what I say. You have to analyse every match and you've got people questioning you - last year it was my fitness, this year it's been my serve, my slice, anything - they pick up on the smallest thing and they can bite away at your confidence a little bit. But I think I'm strong enough to deal with that."
Murray had beaten Roddick in straight sets but showed immense character to fight back against Hewitt, who broke him three times to win the first set 6-2. But he broke the Hewitt serve three times and closed out the second set 6-1. The Australian survived two match points before Murray prevailed 7-3 in a third-set tie-break.
Murray said: "I felt like I was getting my chances with the points in the first set but then I was making a few too many mistakes and errors.
"It was important for me to break in the first game of the second set. I didn't want to play catch-up with a guy as good as Lleyton. When I got that break it gave me a little confidence. I like to change the pace of the ball, play the slice, play some soft, some hard and I usually return well. If you keep that up for the match you should get quite a few chances to break."
Murray will play his first match as a top-50 player when he takes on Germany's Rainer Schuttler in Memphis.