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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday October 27, 2021

Things haven’t gone exactly to plan for Andy Murray in 2021, but the three-time Grand Slam champion is more committed than ever to continuing to push his way back to the business end of tournaments. After his 6-3, 6-4 loss to Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday at the Erste Bank Open, Murray told reporters that he believes it is just a matter of time before he starts cracking on deep into tournaments.

Tennis Express

"It will happen,” Murray said. “I'm not going to keep losing in the second or third round of tournaments, I will get better, and I will improve and I will break through in one week, or two weeks, or a few months, it will happen."

Murray snapped an 11-match losing streak against Top-25 opponents on Monday when he defeated Hubert Hurkacz, but on Wednesday he stumbled against the 18-year-old Spanish wunderkind as he failed to reach a semifinal at a tour-level event for the 16th straight time.

“I obviously would just like it to be happening quicker than what it is,” Murray said.

In his post-match press conference Murray was asked if he had given any thought to what the endpoint of his career might be, but he said that at the moment he isn’t giving it much thought. Clearly the 34-year-old is too wrapped up in finding his way back to his best tennis.

"I don't know exactly what the endpoint is for me," he said. "It's not something that I'm really thinking about right now, to be honest. I won two days ago against a guy who is in the Top-10 in the world and made the semis of Wimbledon this year and won a Masters series this year.”

Murray says his recent run of results has given him the belief that he is closer to becoming relevant on the ATP Tour than he was a few months ago. He points to performances against players who are currently in top form, such as Hurkacz and Alcaraz.

“Alcaraz had a great run at the US Open. I had a good win against him and I've had some good matches against some top players who have had great runs at these events,” he said. “I'm not really sure why I should think why I should think that I couldn't do that again. I look at those matches and think 'If Hurkacz can make semis at Wimbledon then why is that not possible for me?' And I know I can do better. I know I can play better than I am playing just now, and I will. So when that starts to happen. My movement is getting better, and all those sorts of things, just hopefully the body holds up long enough for me to get that chance, but right now it's been going pretty well."

The Need to Be More Ruthless

The buzzword that seemed to be on the tip of Murray’s tongue more than any other during Wednesday's press conference was “ruthless.” The Scot is aware of the fact that he has struggled to convert opportunities, be they be set points or critical break points, in many matches over the last few months. And he knows that if he starts hammering down on those opportunities, his chances at success will be that much higher.

“I need to convert more of my opportunities,” he said. “The first round (Hurkacz, at Vienna), that one almost got away from me, even though I had chances and was probably the better player for the first two sets. Tonight I was up a break in the second set, was not ruthless enough, in terms of going for the second break, and in the first set, I had a bunch of chances in that first set as well, granted (Alcaraz) played great, but I need to be more ruthless, that's what I did when I was at my best, I'm just not quite there with that and it has cost me a few times.

“If I continue along that path and build up a little bit more consistency and be that little bit more clinical and a bit more ruthless then yes, I will start winning more and have some deep runs.”

On Tap: Paris is a Maybe, Stockholm is a Yes and Davis Cup is Likely a No

Murray says that he isn’t sure if he’ll receive a wild card into next week’s Paris Masters, but he would like one.

"I'm definitely playing in Stockholm, I think Paris was looking positive, but not 100 percent sure yet, so we'll wait to see on that,” he said.

Unfortunately for those who would love to see Murray back in action at Davis Cup in late November, it does not seem to be in the cards.

“Davis Cup is not something I'm planning on, for all the reasons I gave the other day. Like I said it's possible that I could change my mind as it gets closer, but I want a proper off-season and [I want to] get to spend some time at home with my family, because although my tennis has been improving there is still stuff that I need to work on - it's great to do on the match court but sometimes you just need a little bit of time off the match court to get a good three, four week block of working on a few things in your game to really improve it, without the pressure of having to do it in matches.

"With Davis Cup, that wouldn't really happen, so yeah, I'm not planning on it."