Over the last couple of days, Andy Murray competed at the Battle of the Brits Team Event in Roehampton, together with his brother and other leading British players. The three-time Major champion will give his best to compete at the US Open at the end of the month, eager to test his skills at the most prominent tennis stage after a couple of rough years.
With the coronavirus halting the action for five months, it should be interesting to see the matches in New York, as Murray predicts many upsets and unexpected results. In 2016, Murray raised his game to another level, finishing the season with nine trophies and 78 wins, battling for the year-end no.
1 spot with Novak Djokovic. After conquering Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Paris, and the ATP Finals, Andy secured the honor, producing one of the most solid finishes in the Open era and becoming world no. 1 for the first time in November.
Andy stayed at the top until Wimbledon next year, but all the tasks from the previous season had left a mark on him, struggling with a hip injury and missing all the action after the All England Club. Undergoing surgery in January 2018, Andy returned to the court at Queen's, playing 12 matches that year and opting for another surgery in January 2019 after an epic clash against Roberto Bautista Agut in Melbourne.
Determined to extend his career, Murray won the doubles title at Queen's with Feliciano Lopez for a perfect comeback last June, winning the first ATP singles title since Dubai 2017 in Antwerp in October and moving closer to the place in the top-100.
At the Davis Cup Finals, Andy experienced another setback, enduring a pelvic injury that forced him to skip the ATP Cup, the Australian Open and other events at the beginning of 2020.
"The US Open will make a difference.
You just can't replicate matches in practice, it's not the same," Andy Murray said.
"It is different on the body, on the mind. The pressure is just different, and no matter how hard you try to make your practices as challenging and difficult as matches, they just aren't. I've always been an inferior practice player; I don't win many practice sets.
It doesn't matter who I am playing against, I have just never been particularly good. My coach said he thought in 2016 that I won 15-20% of my practice sets, while I lost only nine matches and won about 80-90% of sets during the official competition.
It's just not the same, and it will be very different for all the players. Some competitors who have had injury lay-offs will probably be a bit more experienced in coming back after a long period, but it's an opportunity for all of them.
There will be upsets for sure. Going into the US Open with potentially only one or two matches in the Cincinnati event in New York, it will make some interesting results, that's for sure; TV viewers should find it interesting."