Andy Murray insists mental strength has been key to his end of season turnaround as he prepares to make one last push to make the World Tour Finals at this week’s Paris Masters.
Following on from back surgery in September 2013, Murray initially struggled for form in 2014, slipping from fourth to 12th in the world rankings, with his first title of the year not arriving until he beat Tommy Robredo in the final of the Shenzhen Open in China last month.
That victory sparked a successful run for the Scot, who has won 18 of his last 20 matches, including victory in the Vienna and Valencia Opens in recent weeks.
The latest of those, the Valencia Open in Spain, saw him save five match points for the second time in less than a month to defeat Robredo in the longest final of the year to move him up to fifth in the race to make the Word Tour Finals.
A quarter-final appearance at this week’s Paris Masters will guarantee him a seventh straight appearance at the season-ending finale.
And with Frenchman Julien Benneteau his first opponent in the round of 32 on Wednesday afternoon, Murray intends to draw on all his reserves, both physically and mentally.
“The first four, five months of the year were tough but I kept going at it and I felt like I was making improvements throughout the last few months,” he told Sky Sports.
"I managed to turn the season around in the last few weeks and still there are a couple of tournaments left to finish it off well.
"The mental side of the game is obviously very important. Most of the players I think would agree with that and over the last few weeks, the finals that I've won, the tournaments that I've won, I've saved 10 match points in Shenzhen and the final in Valencia.
"And then the other one (in Vienna) Ferrer was serving for the match. I just tried to keep going and keep playing right through to the last point everytime and got the rewards for it."
© Sportsbeat 2014