Andy Murray is looking to build on an improved showing in Rome at this week's Madrid Open, but the world number four admits he cannot get too far ahead of himself following a disappointing run of results this year.
Murray started 2010 in fine style by reaching the Australian Open final in January, but he has struggled since then and won just five of his 10 outings heading into the Madrid Open.
However, after failing to win a match in either Miami or Monte Carlo, Murray returned, albeit briefly, to winning ways in the Rome Masters with a 6-2 6-4 win over Italian Andreas Seppi in his opening tie.
The 22-year-old was unable to follow that up with another win as he was knocked out by the in-form David Ferrer in the next round, but Murray at least felt his performance in Rome was a step in the right direction.
"I was a lot happier with the way I played in Rome than I was a few weeks before that," he said.
"I didn't play well in Miami and I was disappointed in Monte Carlo and Rome was a lot better so I'll just try and play well again here (in Madrid)."
Murray is not getting carried away though, and he is only looking as far as his first match in the Spanish capital.
Having been given a bye in the opening round, the third seed will face either Pablo Cuevas or Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round. Cuevas and Chela face each other this morning.
"I need to just try and win my first match and then we'll see," Murray said yesterday, speaking at a Madrid cinema that will be showing this weekend's finals in 3D.
"I just want to play well, if I play well then I'll be happy."
Murray, who won the Madrid title in 2008 when the tournament was played on hard court rather than the clay surface now in use, added: "I'd love to get to the semi-finals, I'd love to win the tournament but unfortunately I'm in a position right now where I need to focus very hard from the first matches and fight my way through the early rounds.
"If I can do that then I'll give myself a chance of doing well, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
"I've not made it past the second round or won two matches in a tournament for the last three or four so it's totally pointless for me to look any further in front."