Andy Murray sees better mindset as key to recent surge

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Andy Murray attributes his recent resurgence to an improvement in his mental attitude.

Murray was in jeopardy of missing the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals after a disappointing run following his quarterfinal exit at Wimbledon, SN partner Sportal.com.au reports. His form in the early stages of 2014 was affected by a back injury at the tail end of 2013 that required surgery.

A lack of fitness and form saw Murray drop to No. 12 in world rankings last month, but titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia since then helped him climb back to eighth.

Wednesday, Murray defeated France's Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4 at the Paris Masters tournament. The victory left Murray a win away from qualifying for London.

Other Wednesday winnings included Stan Wawrinka and Canada's Milos Raonic. Raonic had 19 aces in a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (4) win over American Jack Sock, keeping alive his hopes of securing a spot for the finals. Raonic will be guaranteed a place in London if he wins the title in Paris.

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Murray credits his turnaround to his stronger mental state.

"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] David Ferrer was serving for the match. I just tried to keep going and keep playing right through to the last point every time and got the rewards for it."

Murray converted all three break points Wednesday and lost four points on his first serve in his 19th win since losing in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. He must beat Grigor Dimitrov or Pablo Cuevas in the next round to qualify for the season finale.

Four berths remain for the ATP Finals, with six players in contention to join Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Wawrinka and Marin Cilic from Nov. 9-16 at the O2 Arena.

After missing last year's tournament following surgery on his back, Murray is pushing hard to qualify for the ATP Finals for the seventh consecutive year.

Contributing: Associated Press