Andy Murray fires warning to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after Wawrinka victory

Leon Smith comments on Andy Murray's inclusion on GB David Cup team

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Andy Murray has laid down a marker to both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after claiming an eye-catching victory over Stan Wawrinka at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Following his first round triumph, the Scot admitted he is feeling the best he has “in a really long time”.

Murray took the opening set in a tie-break before seeing age-old rival Wawrinka level the contest as muscle cramps took their toll on the 35-year-old. However, the veteran persevered, battling back from an early break in the third and deciding set to secure his passage to the second round with a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 victory and set up a contest with fellow Brit Cameron Norrie.

The match was Murray’s 37th on the ATP Tour this year – the most he has racked up since way back in 2016. And following the success, the two-time Wimbledon champion fired a warning to the likes of Nadal and Djokovic by declaring this is the fittest he’s felt “in a really long time”.

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

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“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.”

Murray also admitted he and his team were hopeful a run of successful results could now aid his preparations regarding tournament planning going forward. He added: “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.

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“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.”

Despite reaching the finals in Stuttgart and Sydney earlier in the year, he suffered opening round defeats at the National Bank Open in Montreal and Citi Open in Washington in recent weeks. As a result, the current world No 48 seed, who also suffered a second-round exit at Wimbledon, has been left fighting to secure a seeded spot for the US Open later this month.

A strong run of results in Cincinnati will go a long way to achieving just that.

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