Andy Murray feeling ‘physically’ good ahead of US Open but demands improvement

Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other

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Andy Murray is pleased with his own fitness ahead of the 2021 US Open, but admits his form needs to improve if he is to make progress at Flushing Meadows. Murray, 34, returns to the scene of his first Grand Slam title in 2012 on the back of second-round exits in tournaments in both Cincinnati and Winston-Salem. However, he insists he has overcome his injury problems and now it’s just his game that needs to be in a “better place.”

 Ahead of Monday’s difficult opening assignment with third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Murray said: “Physically, I’ve been good since I’ve been here in the matches.

“I pulled up well the following days after them. That for me has been really positive. I would obviously like my game to be in a better place.

“It is interesting sometimes that you don’t feel like you’re playing particularly well, but I’ve had opportunities in my matches against top players in the past few weeks and not quite taken them. Maybe if I did, I’d be sitting here with a slightly different take on things.”

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“The positive thing in the past few months is that I haven’t been held back really from what I can do on the practice court. I have been on the practice court and I have been training and doing all the things I wanted to do.

“It is the matches where you need to ultimately go out there and perform. That’s what’s been frustrating the past few weeks.”

It will be the first time that Murray has faced Tsitsipas in a Grand Slam, but the pair have practiced together and earlier this week, the 23-year-old spoke glowingly about the Scotsman’s impact on him as he was coming through the ranks.

Alongside Murray, a host of British players are looking to progress on Monday with Dan Evans, Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Cam Norrie, and Harriet Dart also all in action.

The Scot will be second on court at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, following the women’s all American clash between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens which is scheduled to begin at 5pm UK time.

But it’s court 10 that could well define the day for British players with Evans facing Brazilian player Thiago Moura Monteiro at 4pm UK time, followed by Watson against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan. Konta then takes on Kristina Mladenovic of France, before Norrie rounds off the action there by facing Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia.

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Dart however, will be second on court 15, against Caroline Garcia of France.

The likes of Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Nick Kyrgios are also all in action.

The event was played behind closed doors in 2020, but spectators will be welcomed back next week providing they can show proof of the Covid-19 vaccine.

There is plenty of excitement in store at Flushing Meadows, with Novak Djokovic going in search of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title to move him clear of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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