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Murray vows to make strong finish to ‘up and down’ year

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said Wednesday he is “still going in the right direction” and is determined to make a strong finish to an “up and down” year.

The 36-year-old former world number one was speaking at the Zhuhai Championships in China, days after playing his part in Britain’s Davis Cup victory over Switzerland.

He revealed after defeating Leandro Riedi at Manchester Arena on Friday that he had missed his grandmother’s funeral to play.

Reflecting on his year so far, Murray, now ranked 41 in the world, said: “Look, I would like the year to have gone better, for sure.

“There have been some good moments, but also some tough losses as well,” said Murray, who had career-saving surgery in 2019 and now plays with a metal hip.

His five-set defeat in the second round at Wimbledon to fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, having been ahead when the match was forced into the next day because of a tournament curfew, still rankles.

Murray suffered an abdominal injury at the Canadian Open last month and went out in the second round at the US Open, where he is a former champion, in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov.

Murray, who felt he started 2023 especially well and reached the final in Qatar, said: “It’s been up and down.”

“I got up to my highest ranking a few weeks ago since I had the hip operation so that’s positive and shows that although it’s not as fast a trajectory as I would have liked, I’m still going in the right direction.

“I’ve got an opportunity with these last five or six tournaments at the end of the year to have a strong finish, so that’s what I’m hoping for here.”

Murray, whose last ATP title came in 2019, faces Chinese wildcard Mo Yecong in his opener in Zhuhai. 

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