Andy Murray is taking each tournament he plays in as it comes and is refusing to look too far ahead of the US Open, the Scot has revealed. Murray last played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where he was hampered by a thigh injury but still reached the quarter-finals of the doubles tournament.
The three-time Grand Slam winner is planning a return to action at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati this week, one of the traditional warm up events for the US Open later this month.
Murray’s relative inaction on the ATP Tour means he was outside the seedings for the event initially, but was granted a wildcard by organisers.
Speaking to the press in his first conference since being eliminated from the Olympics, Murray talked up the importance of paying attention to the near future.
Murray said: “I just try to focus on the short term. Look at this week as a great opportunity for me to play on hard courts in conditions that I like against top players again.
“So short-term goals is to be on the practice court with these guys as much as I can, hopefully get the chance to play matches, like I said in these conditions and give all my energy and efforts to the US Open and assess where my game and my body is at the end of that.
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“But I can’t really look too far ahead right now, I think my team planning my physical conditioning and my scheduling and everything – that could be their job to plan those things out but for me I just need to take things each week at a time just now and give all my energy to each match and each event that I play and see where I’m at at the end of the US Open.”
Murray has only played in one of the three Grand Slams so far this year, competing at Wimbledon where he reached the third round before being demolished in three sets by Canadian Dennis Shapovalov.
He was forced to miss the Australian Open after being struck down by Covid, and decided to miss out on playing at Roland Garros.
Murray has been blighted by hip injuries in recent years and has undergone multiple surgeries on the area. At one point there were concerns that he may never play professionally again, and Murray uses that to contextualise his achievements at Queens and Wimbledon.
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Murray said: “Obviously the Olympics was a great experience but it was tough because I obviously felt like I had built up some sort of momentum during Wimbledon.
“I was obviously very disappointed with how it ended, but then if I reflect on the build up to Queens and Wimbledon, I couldn’t really have expected much more than that.”
Murray is clearly more aware of his own sporting mortality than ever, and expressed that he now understands that his body will struggle with more injuries as he gets older, having turned 34 years old in May.
That said, a level of frustration at such injuries obviously remains.
Murray said: “I got back on the practice courts after a few days [after Wimbledon], started preparing and got another good 10, 12 days of practice in before the Olympics and then I’d been having a little bit of pain in my quad during that period and decided when we were over in Tokyo to get it looked at because it had been persisting for a little while.
“And then I had a tear in my quad and I’ve never had any muscle injuries in my career so I didn’t really know what they felt like, so it was a difficult one and then there was the responsibility to Joe as well so it was hard and frustrating again to have to miss the opportunity to play in another big event.
“Again, here I feel good again but as I said earlier in the year I can’t say with any great certainty that I’m going to be feeling good for three or four months in a row.”
Murray faces familiar rival Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Western and Southern Open.