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No more excuses for Murray as he battles back up the rankings a year on from surgery

For Andy Murray over the next few months, one thing seems certain.

BRING IT ON: Nick Kyrgios celebrates victory over Santiago Giraldo in Toronto. Picture: Getty
BRING IT ON: Nick Kyrgios celebrates victory over Santiago Giraldo in Toronto. Picture: Getty

There will be no excuses.

Almost a year on from the back surgery that kept him off the Tour for four months, Murray arrived in Toronto looking fit and sounding content and confident as he begins a month of tennis he hopes will end with a third grand slam title.

Any concern over the back disappeared during the French Open, when his body was stretched hard on the way to the semi-finals and at Wimbledon, where he played beautifully before falling flat in the quarter-finals.

That defeat was a tough one to explain but after a few weeks of good training in Miami and with coach Amelie Mauresmo now confirmed on a longer-term deal, Murray expects himself to be 100% going into the US Open, which begins in less than three weeks' time.

"I feel good, I trained hard," Murray said as he prepared for his second-round match today against the new Australian sensation, Nick Kyrgios. "The period after Wimbledon I did not take too much time off and I feel like I am ready to play some good tennis."

Having only returned to the Tour in time for the Australian Open in January, Murray told reporters in Toronto that he had not able to train as hard as usual as he eased his back into the rigours of full-time competition. "I felt maybe what I was missing was just some physical strength," he said.

"When you come back on the tour it is a bit of a recovery process. Over the French Open and Wimbledon my back felt very good. Physically, it was fine. Now I can start training again 100%, not holding back."

At 27, Murray knows he needs to make the most of his opportunities to add to his grand slam tally. But while he continues to emphasise the importance of peaking at the slams, Murray knows he needs matches to improve his confidence going into New York.

He has only one victory over a top-10 player to his name this year, a shocking statistic for a player of his calibre, and he finds himself down the rankings at 10 going into the last few months of the season. "It is important to get matches in before the US Open," Murray said. "Here is the start of the summer and with only two tournaments to get ready it is important to do well here.

"The rankings don't lie and I need to start winning more matches to push my ranking back up there. But the main goal for me is to try and win grand slams. That's what motivates me. That's what makes me want to train."

The work he has done in Miami, both on the court and off it, with Mauresmo, is all aimed at adding to his US Open title from 2012 and his Wimbledon crown earned 13 months ago.

After a tricky start, not helped by beginning just a couple of weeks before Wimbledon, Mauresmo has settled in well to Team Murray.

The Scot seems happy with how things are going, which is all that matters, and after initially signing on only for the grass-court season, they will extend their relationship across the coming months.

"I really enjoy working with her," Murray said. "I feel like she has helped me a lot. It has started off well in my opinion.

"We had a good training block in Miami. She integrated well with the rest of the team, the physical trainers and listened a lot to what they had to say and it has been a good start. Now it is about me producing the results on the court. I feel like I have put myself in a good position to do that."

It is a good job Murray arrived in Toronto early, since his first match is against Krygios, who beat Santiago Giraldo 7-6, 7-5 on his debut in a Masters 1000 event. His victory over Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon and his run to the quarter-finals drew Murray's attention and the Aussie is not lacking in confidence.

"You've got to believe, going on to the court, that you can beat anyone," Krygios said yesterday. "He's a spectacular player but I'm looking forward to it."

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