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Murray 'proud' to be competing with the best again

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 25/10/2021
Andy Murray says he is feeling encouraged by his recent performances © Associated Press Andy Murray says he is feeling encouraged by his recent performances

Andy Murray says he is proud to be able to compete with the best in world tennis again, but wants to be more "clinical and ruthless" when the opportunities arise.

The former world No 1 has travelled to Vienna in good spirits having lost to Hubert Hurkacz, Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev since the US Open.

Murray beat Frances Tiafoe in the longest three-set-match of the year at the European Open in Antwerp last week, before losing to eventual finalist Diego Schwartzman in the second round.

And despite some tight defeats, Murray says he is feeling encouraged by his recent performances.

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"It has been better. From the grass season to the US Open, I played well," said Murray, who will begin his campaign against Hurkacz, a player who defeated him in Cincinnati and Metz this season.

"I played better tennis at the US Open. Since then, it has been consistently better each week. It has not been perfect, but most of the matches I have had chances and opportunities in, which certainly wasn't the case in the grass season and some of the matches I played before the US Open.

"I have had some decent wins and some tight matches with some top players."

Murray, who has risen 16 spots to 156 in the latest rankings, has been working his way back since he underwent hip surgery in 2019.

"It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing," Murray said.

"Some of the results I have had, some will go 'Oh he's not winning enough against top players or he should be doing better'. But I shouldn't be doing better than what I am with the situation with my body and what I have been through.

"I don't think there are many players who would be able to compete with the top five players with a metal hip.

"I am proud of myself, for putting myself in a position to compete with those guys. But ultimately if I want to get back to somewhere close to the level I was at before, I need to be winning those matches."

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The Scot won the Vienna title in 2014 and 2016, and will be hoping to make a deep run at this year's tournament despite a tough opening draw against Poland's world No 10 Hurkacz.

"I need to be a bit more clinical and ruthless when my opportunities come," said 34-year-old Murray.

"That was one of the things when I was right at the top, it was a strong part of my game and I need to get back to that.

"When my opportunities come, I am going to take them and be clinical. Finish those sets off when you get ahead and don't think that more chances are going to come along because when you play the top players, you don't get loads."

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Murray wants to be more 'clinical and ruthless' in order to progress against the top players © Associated Press Murray wants to be more 'clinical and ruthless' in order to progress against the top players

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