Tennis-Fitter Murray hopes consistency will bring seeding reward

·2-min read
Tennis: Western & Southern Open

(Reuters) - Andy Murray said his body is feeling the best it has "in a really long time" but that he still needs to take his game up a level if he wants to compete in the latter stages of tournaments on a regular basis.

Murray, who has battled through various injuries in recent years, reached the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Monday with a 7-6(3) 5-7 7-5 win over Stan Wawrinka.

It was the Scot's 37th match on the ATP Tour this year, the most he has managed to get under his belt since 2016.

"In terms of how I pulled up after matches and stuff has been the best I have felt in a really long time," Murray told reporters.

"So that's good. I would like my tennis to be better at times, because I'm still convinced that it can be better than where it is right now.

"It's not been easy these last few years to stay fit and healthy and play enough tennis ... That's a positive thing that I got to play lots of matches or more matches this year."

While Murray reached the finals of tournaments in Stuttgart and Sydney this year, he lost his opening matches at the Canadian Masters and Citi Open and bowed out in the second round of Wimbledon.

The 35-year-old said the early exits made it difficult for him to take a break and recharge.

"Me and my team are hoping I can get to that level again where I'm consistently getting to the latter stages of events. We will be able to plan and schedule my tournaments better," Murray said.

"Right now I'm having to play and compete to try and maintain ranking and to hopefully get seeded in the events and get into more tournaments, not have to rely on wildcards. So, yeah, it's a difficult balance."

Next up for two-times Cincinnati winner Murray is an all-British battle with ninth seed Cameron Norrie.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)