US Open

Murray finds positive signs in early exit

2018-08-30 11:13
Andy Murray (Getty)

New York - Andy Murray's Grand Slam return ended with a second-round exit at the US Open on Wednesday, but the former world number one found reason for optimism in a four-set loss to Fernando Verdasco

The Scot, playing his first Grand Slam since Wimbledon of last year and just his fifth tournament since hip surgery in June, gave himself a mixed report card. 

"I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I've played since I had the surgery or since I came back," Murray said. 

"There were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where I really didn't play particularly well. 

"I hit a lot of mistakes when I was up in that set. I feel like I should have won the first set and didn't." 

With both players clearly feeling the effects of searing heat, Murray was pleased to have the stamina to push Verdasco at the end, forcing five break points in the final game before the Spaniard finally closed it out on his third match point. 

"At the end when my back was against the wall, I came up with some good tennis to make it close and interesting - and almost got myself back into it," said Murray, who still said that overall "there were too many ups and downs for my liking." 

Murray struggled for months with his injury before having surgery this year, and he admitted that he's wondered whether he would be able to return to the game's summit. 

"You just don't know," the 31-year-old said. "When I got the injury, I was ranked number one in the world. Twelve months later, things completely changed. 

"If things keep going smoothly, physically I continue to improve, I believe that I will get back to competing for the biggest competitions because there's no reason why I couldn't." 

In the meantime, Murray is in the unfamiliar position of entering events not knowing what to expect. 

His return to the US Open after a year's absence, along with that of Novak Djokovic, marked a reunion of the game's "Big Four" of Murray, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 

But Murray candidly admitted coming in he had no real expectation of winning, and he was pleased to find himself standing up to the physical rigors of best-of-five set matches in extreme heat conditions. 

"I think I did quite well in that respect," Murray said. "To sort of still be doing as well as I was at the end of the match, considering the lack of practice and matches that I've had, was positive." 

Irked at dropping a first set in which he had a set point at 5-4, Murray said a more aggressive approach led to too many mistakes. 

"It's difficult sometimes to get the balance when you haven't played as much matches, haven't practiced as much as you would like. It's difficult to always make the right decisions when you're on the court, playing more offensively. 

"It's something that is going to take a bit of time getting used to again. 

"Like I say, it's still quite early in this process for me," Murray said. "I did all right. I chased balls down right to the end of the match. I wasn't giving up on points. It wasn't the most comfortable I've felt on a tennis court. I got through it and fought right to the end."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.