Andrew Murray has amassed a huge amount of self-belief in a whirlwind three months and now feels he can make the grade among the world’s best.
The 18-year-old Scot, who captured the attention of the nation at Wimbledon this summer, bowed out of the US Open in the second round after a five-set defeat to Frenchman Arnaud Clement.
It was a blow to the teenager, who 12 months ago highlighted his burgeoning talent by winning the junior title at Flushing Meadows, but he revealed the learning curve had been huge since making his senior Grand Slam debut at the All England Club back in June.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself the last three months and about my tennis, what I need to work on,” said the Dunblane-born player ranked 122 in the world.
“I learned I could cope with playing with guys that are in the top 100 in the world and I’m good enough to get there.
“I always believed I could do it but this gives you an extra bit of confidence when you win matches in Grand Slams and ATP Tour tournaments and you beat some guys that are in the top 50.
“I now believe I can go on and get into the top 100. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that by the end of the year.
“I want to get into the top 10 in the world, that’s my ultimate goal. I think if I keep working like I have been and playing like I have I’ve got a good chance at that.”
Murray would probably have made the top 100 with victory over Clement but although he fought back from two sets down he collapsed in the final set to lose it 6-0 as fatigue took its toll.
Fitness has been the one area of his game which has come in for criticism since Murray launched himself into the limelight but he has vowed to look at that rectifying the problem.
“I might try to bulk up a bit. It’s not that easy when you’re injured for six months (at the start of last year) with a knee problem, then you get told it’s best not to do weights,” he explained.
“I did six months of upper body weights but I wasn’t allowed to do anything on my leg for four months when I came back.
“And because I grew a lot at the start of the year I couldn’t do any, then obviously I played a lot of tournaments.
“I think I’ll have to sit down with my physio, with Mark (Petchey, his coach) and decide what I need to work on in the gym.”
Murray has pulled out of next week’s Challenger Tour event in Istanbul because he does not want to aggravate a niggling shoulder problem ahead of Great Britain’s Davis Cup World Group play-off in Switzerland in just under three weeks.