US Open 2016: Andy Murray inspired by British improvement

Dan Evans and Andy Murray
Dan Evans and Andy Murray trained together at Flushing Meadows earlier in the week
US Open fourth round: Grigor Dimitrov v Andy Murray
Date: Monday, 5 September Time: Approximately 00:00 BST
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Coverage: Live BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and text commentary on the BBC Sport website, app and connected TVs.

Andy Murray says the emergence of a generation of younger British players has helped push him to further heights.

Like Murray, Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta reached the fourth round at the US Open, while Dan Evans came within a point of joining them before losing to third seed Stan Wawrinka.

"What I like most about practising with them is I have a responsibility to work hard and push myself," said the Scot.

Murray, 29, faces Grigor Dimitrov in his fourth-round match at midnight BST.

Top British players
MenWorld rankingWomenWorld ranking
Andy Murray2Johanna Konta14
Daniel Evans64Heather Watson73
Aljaz Bedene77Naomi Broady 82
Kyle Edmund84Tara Moore171

The progress of Murray, Edmund and Konta to that stage marked the first time three British singles players have advanced that far at a Grand Slam since 1964.

Since the end of August 2015, Evans has climbed 269 places in the rankings, Konta is up 84, while Edmund has risen 19.

Konta, 25, was knocked out in round four in New York by Anastasija Sevastova on Sunday before 21-year-old Edmund was beaten by world number one Novak Djokovic.

Murray practises alongside Evans, 26, and Edmund at tournaments as well as during his January training block, and as part of Great Britain's Davis Cup-winning team.

"I feel like when I'm on the court with them, I really want to work hard and show that this is what you have to do," the world number two added.

"Maybe if it was someone from another country, I wouldn't feel the same. I train better probably with them than I do with others, I think."

'Love' is back for Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov
Dimitrov beat Portugal's Joao Sousa in four sets in the third round at Flushing Meadows

In the build-up to Monday's match against Murray, world number 24 Dimitrov says he has rediscovered his enjoyment of the sport.

"A lot has changed in the last year and a half," said the 25-year-old Bulgarian, who has not reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam since last year's Australian Open.

"I fell in love with tennis again.

"Not just because I started winning matches, I started enjoying the process again, enjoying the work again. I'm enjoying the ice baths. I'm enjoying pretty much everything that I do.

"I've started to enjoy those butterflies before matches. Those are moments that I'm hopefully going to appreciate for the rest of my career."

Dimitrov trails Murray 6-3 in their head-to-head record, but ended Murray's first Wimbledon title defence by beating the Briton in straight sets in the quarter-finals in 2014.

Vallverdu reunion

Murray will come up against his former coach Dani Vallverdu when he takes on 22nd seed Dimitrov.

Murray and Vallverdu - who met as teenagers at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Spain - parted ways in November 2014 shortly after Murray added Amelie Mauresmo to his team.

Andy Murray and Dani Vallverdu
Vallverdu was reportedly a guest at Murray's April 2015 wedding

Vallverdu has since worked with Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro, before joining Dimitrov's team.

"We're still getting to know each other," Dimitrov said of the Venezuelan. "First of all he's a great guy.

"I know how to play tennis. Now it's more the strategic way, how you're going to prepare for big matches, big tournaments."

Dimitrov comes into his meeting with Murray on the back of a run to the semi-finals in Cincinnati that included a straight-set win over world number three Stan Wawrinka.

"The last few weeks he has been playing very well, getting back to a level that he's capable of playing at," said Murray, who laboured to a four-set win over Italy's Paolo Lorenzi in the third round.

"I expect it to be very hard. I'll be ready for that. I'll need to play better than Saturday if I want to win."

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