Andy Murray Getting 'That Winning Feeling' Back After Surgery
Andy Murray, who won his third tournament of the year last Sunday when he outlasted Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the longest final of the year at Valencia, has jumped to five in the Race to London rankings.
Andy Murray admitted on Tuesday that he is almost back to his best form as he targets more success at the Paris Masters and wrapping up his place at the World Tour Finals.
The British number one, who won his third tournament of the year last Sunday when he outlasted Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the longest final of the year at Valencia, has jumped to five in the Race to London rankings.
He can seal his place in the English capital for the seventh straight season by reaching the quarter-finals at Bercy this week.
The World Tour Finals feature the top eight players in a round-robin format and run at the O2 Arena from November 9-16.
Following his breakthrough Grand Slam triumph at the 2012 US Open and becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936 in 2013, important back surgery followed which put the brakes on his meteoric rise to the top.
Now after playing 20 matches in five weeks, which included winning the Shenzhen Open and Vienna Open as well as Valencia, he is again feeling fully fit and challenging for the highest honours in the game.
"It's been a long few weeks, but it's been very beneficial for me," Murray said at Bercy ahead of his second round against Frenchman Julien Benneteau who is world number 28.
"I gained a lot of confidence in my body again from playing this many matches, and then also from winning a lot of tough, long, close matches, especially in the finals, match points down.
"The one when (David) Ferrer was serving for the match (Vienna), as well. So I have been fighting extremely hard in the matches and got some good results, so it's been nice.
"I mean, you know, right now I'm number five in the race and it's supposed to have been a terrible year for me, so I'm happy with that," he added with a wry smile.
-Tough surgery -
"I have come back well from a tough surgery, and there is still hopefully a couple of tournaments left between now and the end of the year where I can try to make more improvements.
"But if not, I'm still very happy, especially with the last few weeks. But also a lot of the tennis I played since really the French Open has been good. I have been making improvements in my game. .
"I still have a chance of getting maybe to four (in the world) between now and the end of the year, which would be very important for the beginning of next year, as well.
"The only way to do that is also to get to the O2, as well."
The Glasgow-born Murray began to find his form in Rome when he pushed Rafael Nadal to three sets and qualified for the first of three straight quarter-finals at Masters tournaments in Italy, Toronto and Cincinnati.
During that spell he also reached the French Open semi-finals where he was again beaten by Nadal, who has won nine of the past ten titles at Roland Garros.
"I started to feel good about it like in Rome this year, and then the French Open, Wimbledon, all the way up to now obviously, and the US Open I clearly physically still had work to do, but that wasn't necessarily that I hadn't been working hard.
"I just needed to get mentally a bit stronger in those situations again. And physically, you know, I have always felt when I feel strongly that proves how I feel mentally.
"I think the two are quite closely linked, for me, anyway, and that's been a big help the last few months.