Andy Murray feels that he is working harder in training than he has at any point since his back surgery in 2013.
The world number nine was speaking after dispatching 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the second round at the Toronto Masters on Wednesday, where he cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory in just 54 minutes.
It was the first match that the British number one had played in since relinquishing his Wimbledon title in July, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in three sets.
Murray was given a bye into the second round in Toronto, as Nadal’s withdrawal through injury improved his seeding to eighth.
There will be a feeling of relief that the 27-year-old made it through to the third round so comfortably, as Kyrgios showed at Wimbledon that he is not intimidated by big name players, as he shocked the tennis world by beating Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the fourth round in his debut tournament at SW19.
Murray had been training in Miami in the weeks in between the grass and hard court seasons with new coach Amelie Mauresmo, who he recently announced would be working with him beyond the US Open at the end of August and early September.
The Dunblane-born player feels that his rigorous regime is paying dividends, as he and Mauresmo now have an opportunity to have more time to work together.
He told Sky Sports: “We work on all aspects of the game. I served well today - that was important.
“I've worked extremely hard physically, by far the hardest I've worked since my surgery and the hardest I've worked in the last couple of years.
"My legs are strong and I'm moving well around the court and that's a big positive for me."
The last year has been difficult for the two-time Grand Slam winner, as he is yet to reach the final of an ATP tournament since winning his first Wimbledon title in 2013, and his world ranking has dropped seven places from second in that time.
Murray’s surgery forced him to miss the end of the 2013 season, including the ATP World Tour Finals, which he is struggling to qualify for this year, though he has few ranking points to defend in the back end of the current season.
But he revealed that he is trying to use different tactics, which worked well in the win over Kyrgios.
“I played to play with a lot of variety, which has always been my game really.
"I maybe went away from that a little bit at some points over the last year or so but that's when I play my best tennis and it worked well today."
Murray will be in action again on Thursday against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who came through a longer tussle with Croat Ivo Karlovic to win 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
Should he win that match, then there is a chance that he could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, and the Serbian booked his place in the third round by beating France’s Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-7, 7-6.