Andy Murray faces ‘challenging’ route back to top, but has the desire to ‘win some more tournaments’

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Andy Murray

The battle to climb back up the rankings is an uphill one for Andy Murray, but the three-time Grand Slam winner insists he can still “win some more tournaments”.

After slipping outside the world top 500 following an extended lay-off because of hip resurfacing surgery, Murray has worked his way back to No 111.

However, being outside the top 100 means you are likely to get difficult draws in the first few rounds of Grand Slams and that has certainly been the case for Murray the past few weeks.

At the US Open he faced 16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round while at the French Open he will take on former champion and fellow three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka in his opener on Sunday.

The 33-year-old knows the path back to the top will be difficult, but he is not giving up.

“What I would love is six months of consistent practice, tournaments, resting,” Murray said. “The thing which is hard is that, where I am ranked now, I can feel good this week and then I draw Stan in the first round. Or Djokovic.

“In Cincinnati, I beat (Alexander) Zverev, who was seeded three. You are playing the best players early in tournaments and, with the two-year ranking system, it’s a lot harder to improve your ranking.

“To get to 50 in the world, the points you will need will be significantly more than what they usually are. Players are adding to their points tally whereas, apart from Antwerp and the points at the end of the year, I hardly have any points on the computer.

“That’s the thing which will be challenging, making sure you turn up for the tournaments ready, play and win against the top players early on in the events. Rely a bit on draws and hopefully get a few breaks along the way.

“I am aware it will be really hard to get back up there but I feel, if I can have five, six months where I am able to compete in the tournaments I want to and practise properly, I will definitely win some more tournaments and have some more good wins.”

Wawrinka is seeded 16th at Roland Garros, but he is also making his way back to the top after struggling with injury for a few years.

“We came on tour at similar times, he was maybe a year or so before me, and then the last few years both of us have had a bunch of injuries,” Murray said of his Swiss opponent.

“I would say the last few years we have probably been closer. I message him a bit, he messages me after matches and tournaments, which wouldn’t have been the case six, seven years ago.

“Also both of us going through the various injury problems around the same time, there is a mutual respect there. I’m glad he has managed to get himself back to playing top tennis after a pretty nasty knee issue. He’s a great, great player and a good guy.”

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