Tennis-Confident Murray aiming higher after tweaking service action

FILE PHOTO: Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Andy Murray of Great Britain hits to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not pictured) on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - After making adjustments to his service motion, former world number one Andy Murray is confident that his game is on an upward trajectory and he can compete against top players again after struggling with injuries in the past few years.

The 34-year-old Briton, who had hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019, has not been able to reprise the consistent form that helped him win three major titles and two Olympic singles gold in London 2012 and four years later in Rio de Janeiro.

Murray, who has slipped to 113th in the men's rankings, defeated Frenchman Ugo Humbert 4-6 6-3 6-2 on Tuesday at the Moselle Open in Metz, France.

"I don't think I've played that well recently, but my body has been good and even not playing my best, I've created opportunities to win sets against a number of top players," Murray said after his win over the world number 26.

"There is no question that I can play better.

"The thing that has been frustrating for me in some of the matches is that I had opportunities... If I take those chances, those matches are very different."

Murray reminded everyone at the U.S. Open that he still had the fire and the game when he stretched Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Briton, who also reached the third round of the Wimbledon, said the match against Tsitsipas and the win over Humbert gave him confidence.

"The serve has been a big positive since Wimbledon, the changes that I have made there have really helped get me some free points," said Murray, who has 683 tour-level wins. "The serve was the shot that was most affected by my hip problem.

"Winning is what sport is all about, and if you can play great whilst doing that even better. But if you can't, and you don't play your best, then winning is a great feeling. That's why I am still playing.

"I have little goals — to get to 700 wins on tour. I'm not particularly interested in losing and playing well."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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