Anabel Croft, the former British No. 1 player who is now an analyst for BBC Sports, says former World No. 1 Andy Murray could be a player to watch at next month's US Open while Rafael Nadal may skip the Grand Slam in New York in order to prioritise the French Open.
Anabel Croft on Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal at the US Open
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, has not played on the tour since the end of last season due to a pelvic injury. He returned at the exhibition Battle Of The Brits event in June, organised by his brother Jamie Murray, in the United Kingdom where he lost to Dan Evans in the semi-finals.
In an interview for the Tennis365 website, Croft says, "Some of the tennis that we saw from Andy in the Battle of the Brits events suggests he will be a player to watch at the US Open. By his own admission, his level of play fluctuated and he struggled to maintain the level he would like, but the periods of good play we saw from him were exceptional.
It was top 10 level tennis and we know what he is capable of despite all his injury worries. With his hunger and his motivation, he won’t just be entertaining the competition just to take part. He will be there to have a real go and while we don’t know how far he can get, I’m sure he will not be a player anyone would want to get in the draw”.
Croft added that she thinks World No. 2 Rafael Nadal may skip the US Open in order to focus on winning a record 13th French Open title. "There are just two weeks between the US Open and the French Open, so someone like Rafael Nadal will have a decision to make.
Does he go to America and play best of five-set matches that may have an impact on his hopes of performing well on his favoured surface? That is a decision Rafa will have to consider, but I still believe the US Open can be a great event, even if some of the top players are not there."
The US Open is scheduled to be held in New York in late August while the French Open is scheduled to take place in Paris in late September. Andy Murray has won the US Open in 2012 while Rafael Nadal has won the US Open on four occasions, most recently in 2019.