MASON, Ohio -- Ask Andy Murray an honest question and you'll get an honest answer. Currently ranked No. 9, the Brit is fighting to secure a No. 8 seed for the U.S. Open this week at the Western and Southern Open. With Toronto champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's first -round loss to Mikhail Youzhny on Tuesday, the coveted eighth seed will go to either Murray or No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov depending on their results this week. It's an odd position for Murray to be in -- he's been a top eight seed at the last six U.S. Opens -- but he blames his own inability to close out matches this year as the reason behind his sub-par ranking.
"I messed up a lot of matches this year," Murray told reporters at his pre-tournament interview. "First week of the year I was up a set and a break and I lost [to Florian Mayer in Doha]. I was up a break in the third set against [Milos] Raonic in Indian Wells and I lost. I was up a break against Rafa in the third set [in Rome] and I lost. I was 6-2 up in the tiebreak against [Radek] Stepanek in Queens and lost. Last week I was up 3-0 up in the third against [Jo-Wilfried Tsonga] and I lost. My year could have looked totally different if I had finished those matches off, to be honest with you. So I need to stop messing up when I'm ahead."
Murray was more inclined to cut himself slack earlier this year when he was slowly working his way back to his peak form after undergoing back surgery last fall. "Now it's for me about winning," he said. "I feel healthy. I've trained extremely hard to get ready for this period, harder than I had done since I came back from the surgery. Everything felt good. I'm not really having the aches and pains. Body feels good. I played well last week. I played a couple of good matches. I just messed up a few games and that cost me."
Murray will play his first match against Joao Sousa of Portugal on Wednesday.