Andy Murray: Winning Grand Slam tournaments more important than my ranking

(CBS News) Tennis star Andy Murray is gearing up to defend his U.S. Open next week when the tournament kicks off in New York. The 26-year-old Scotsman told Charlie Rose after winning at Wimbledon and at last year's Open, "I have more confidence in myself going into the big events."

"I lost a lot of big matches before the U.S. Open last year and then obviously with winning Wimbledon, that was something I'd been working towards for a lot of years and [there was] a lot of pressure on me to do that so it was a huge sort of release after I won there and, you know, I think I'll go into these events a little bit more relaxed but with more confidence knowing that I actually can win them," he said.

Murray said he is sharper mentally after teaming up with coach Ivan Lendl in 2012. Like Murray, Lendl -- a Czech-turned-American former number one-ranked player -- faced a morale-shattering run of losses in the first four Grand Slam finals of his career.

"I think mentally, you know getting over that final hurdle last year, I think that helped a lot. A lot of that goes down to my coach Ivan Lendl. I think for me that was a great appointment and a great person sort of to have working with me because he lost his first four Grand Slam finals," Murray said, adding, "There's no one else I could speak to about what that feels like."

Murray credited his parents for starting him and his brother on the tennis court at four or five-years-old but said his mother, who briefly played professionally, never pressured him to play professionally.

"The one thing my mom said when we were on the court, it was all about having fun and just enjoying it and I think that's very important when you're a young kid," Murray said.

Looking ahead at his career, Murray said there has never been a number one-ranked player from Britain since the current rankings system was put in place, and said achieving that level of recognition "would be nice" but explained that the rankings system is not the most important metric within the tennis world.

"Bad players have gotten to number one in the world but haven't won a grand slam and people say, 'Oh, you don't deserve to be number one in the world because you haven't won a slam.'"

"The grand slams are the biggest events and they're the ones that I prepare hard for, they're the tournaments that I want to win. Not trying to get to number one.