Andy Murray is ready to enjoy some well-earned downtime after his 22-match winning streak finally came to an end in Cincinnati.
Since losing the French Open final to Novak Djokovic, world No 2 Murray has won the Aegon Championships, his second Wimbledon title, and a second Olympic gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in a gruelling four-set, four-hour final in Rio.
The 29-year-old Scot flew directly from Brazil to Cincinnati to contest the Western & Southern Open, which he won in 2008 and then 2011.
Shunning the effects of jet lag, he beat Juan Monaco, Kevin Anderson, Bernard Tomic and Milos Raonic without too much trouble, to set up a final showdown with Marin Cilic on Sunday.
It was the Croatian who emerged victorious, however, with former US Open champion Cilic winning 6-4, 7-5 to claim his first Masters title.
But Murray – the latest member of the “600 Club” having reached the ATP World Tour match-wins milestone against Anderson – could not be too downhearted.
He told the elite circuit’s official website: “I’m very proud of this week.
“Obviously today it didn’t go how I would’ve wanted. But I certainly didn’t expect to get to the final when I arrived here.
“I had some pretty good wins along the way. Today there were tough, tricky conditions with the wind.
“I think if I got off to a better start maybe could have done a bit better. I had a break point in his first service game and 0-30 in his next service game.
“I was pretty much behind from that point on and it was tough.
“But it’s a very, very positive week. I’m looking forward to a few days’ rest now.”
Cilic was battling against fatigue, too. His semi-final showdown with Grigor Dimitrov finished at 1:35am local time on Sunday, and he had a lie-in to recuperate.
“I went to sleep around 4am and woke up a little bit before 11am,” he said. “That was enough to recover.
“I felt that I played really good tennis today. The serve was a big factor in my game. I was hitting a lot of big serves in important points, and I was definitely very mentally strong in that second set.
“Andy was starting to play a bit better, but it’s definitely a huge win against him. He’s been on a great run the past couple of months.”