US Open: Murray hopes to attack season's final major with new technique
The 36-year-old arrived at Flushing Meadows after suffering an abdominal strain that forced him to withdraw mid-tournament in Toronto
NEW YORK: Three-time major champion Andy Murray revealed that he has adjusted his technique following his Wimbledon second-round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, and said that he has seen positive signs in his health ahead of the season's final major, the US Open.
Since his Wimbledon loss, the Briton has played just four matches, compiling a 3-1 record. His lone defeat came in three sets to top seed Taylor Fritz in Washington, DC, before he was forced to withdraw ahead of the Toronto third round with a small abdominal tear that also kept him out of Cincinnati.
"I really feel like I needed to make a change to certain shots in my game if I wanted to win more of those matches and dictate more of those matches. So I did that, went away and worked on things for a period of time," Murray said at the pre-tournament press conference.
The 36-year-old arrived at Flushing Meadows after suffering an abdominal strain that forced him to withdraw mid-tournament in Toronto. But he has a positive outlook entering the US Open, buoyed by a strong week of practice. He's had no issues on the court as he builds himself back into match condition.
"The radiologist from back home looked at my scans and checked them, I had a small tear, which is healing and the last five or six days of practice have been really good. I've not had any issues serving. It's just obviously been a bit [difficult], you don't just take a week off from serving and then go full into it, you need to build up a little bit so it's not been perfect in that sense, but my ab has been okay," Murray said.
The Scot has played some of his best tennis at the majors this year. In Melbourne, Murray won two epic five-setters in his opening two matches against 13th seed Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis. At Wimbledon, he was up two-sets-to-one on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas before the Greek mounted a comeback.
Despite competing with a metal hip, the 46-time tour-level titlist Murray is motivated to keep playing against the world's best.
“Some people probably stop and feel like they've had enough whether that's through performance or whether it is through their body hurting and aching and then maybe after an extended period of time away from the sport, they start to miss it again,” he said.
"Maybe mentally some players just feel like they need a break away from the sport and then to refresh and maybe get another shot. Some people (stop because of) injury.
"I think everyone’s case is a bit different. For me, I came back to play because I felt like I still had more to give but also because physically, I was able to compete at the highest level. That’s why I’m still playing."
Murray will begin his 17th US Open campaign on Tuesday against Frenchman Corentin Moutet. He is seeking to advance beyond the third round here for the first time since 2016, when he reached the quarterfinals.
His most recent trip beyond the third round at any Slam came at Wimbledon in 2017, when he also advanced to the quarters.