Andy Murray has dismissed suggestions that the pressure of being the world's top tennis player is affecting his performance after losing to Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Round of 16 of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Murray's defeat to Ramos-Vinolas was only his fourth match in two months after an elbow injury ruled him out of the Miami Open and the following Davis Cup game between Great Britain and France.
The 29-year-old's only tournament win this year came at the Dubai Championship in March after he lost to Novak Djokovic in the Qatar Open final followed by a Round of 16 exit at the Australian Open. He also exited Indian Wells in the Round of 64 stage last month.
"It has been a difficult year for me because I know what it takes to get right up to the top and have the consistent results you need. This year has been stop-start for me, for a few different reasons," Murray said.
"Now that I'm feeling better again I'm hoping that... my results will start to pick up. Injuring my elbow has nothing to do with getting to No 1, or getting sick.
"I'm hoping that I can stay healthy now and hopefully my results will follow."
Murray said that he was doubtful about his participation in the upcoming Barcelona Open and the Hungarian Open as he considers focusing on his fitness.
"I'll speak to my team a little bit about that. I need to decide now whether I go and try to get matches or whether I try to get myself in better shape physically, put as much work in as I can."