What can we expect from Andy Murray at the US Open?
Former world number one looking to get back to his best
Andy Murray returns to a Grand Slam tennis tournament for the first time since January 2019, marking the end of a long, tough journey through an almost career-ending injury.
Now 33-years-old, Murray’s battle with hip injuries has seen him drop down the rankings to 115 in the world, four years after reaching the peak as world number one.
Murray may not be among the leading contenders for this year’s title as a 40/1 longshot, but what can we expect from the Scotsman at the US Open?
The former world number one looked like he was finding his former self when competing at the Western & Southern Open in New York recently.
Murray may have been beaten in the third round, but he picked up impressive victories over Frances Fiafoe and current world number seven Alexander Zverev before losing to Milos Raonic.
First up in the US Open is Yoshihito Nishioka, someone Murray is yet to face in his professional career.
Nishioka put in a good performance in the Australian Open at the start of the year, reaching the third round, but if Murray can find the form he showed in the first two rounds against Tiafoe and Zverev, then he’ll have far too much for the 24-year-old.
Should he make it through round one, Murray has the ‘easier’ side of the draw, which could help to put together a string of games to help his form even more, with a potential clash against Dan Evans set for the third round should they both make it through.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem also await in the bottom half of the draw, but these are the types of test Murray needs if he’s going to get back to challenging.
Challenging for the title
Those performances at the Western & Southern Open filled Murray with a lot of confidence, and outside the dominance of the ‘Big Three’ it can be an unpredictable sport at times.
Previously, before undergoing the relevant surgery needed on his hip, Murray began to fade away late on in games when mounting a challenge, but we’ve seen recently that he can hold his own.
Losing to Raonic wasn’t down to a lack of fitness, it was simply down to the Canadian outperforming the Brit. But that’s to be expected when Murray hasn’t managed a stable run of games for over two years.
It seemed highly unlikely at one stage that we’d ever see Murray return to the court, with even doctors writing off a return. It’s fair to say his return has been miraculous, and if he could win another Grand Slam title, it would be a fairy tale.
If there’s somewhere that it’s going to happen, it may well be at Flushing Meadows, where Murray has enjoyed so much success in the past.
Murray’s first taste of Grand Slam success came in New York back in 2012, overcoming Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set final.
As well as that win, he’s made the last eight in six of his 13 appearances in New York, and we’ve got him at 12/1 to do so again.
With the likes of Djokovic at 8/11 and last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev at 6/1, the favourites for the tournament, Murray would have to spring a shock to claim his second US Open title, although the absence of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal presents an opportunity to all of the title hopefuls
Most importantly though, this year’s US Open should be used as a springboard for form, to help Murray get back to his very best and fighting at the top end for titles on a regular basis.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.