With Wimbledon in rearview, Andy Murray sets sights on rising into US Open
An injury derailed Andy Murray’s preparation at Wimbledon, where he lost to John Isner in the second round. But the experience hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm for improvement.
Wimbledon 2022 was a setback to be sure, but it has done nothing to dampen the spirits of Andy Murray. The 35-year-old Scot is already in the United States, as he hopes to continue this season’s steady progress up the rankings with the goal of being seeded at this year’s US Open.
The first step was taken on Tuesday as Murray rocketed past Sam Querrey, 6-2, 6-0, in a cool fifty-five minutes.
At 52 in the world, Murray has already climbed nearly 100 spots in the rankings from where he started 2022, but the former world No 1 has his eyes on at least 20 more spots in the next month.
I want to be seeded at Slams
“I really want to try and improve my ranking to a level where I’m getting seeded in slams,” Murray said after his second-round loss to John Isner at Wimbledon two weeks ago. “That was a goal of mine sort of post Miami.
“I’ve spoken to my team a lot about that, and that’s something that I want to try and put myself in a position [to achieve] hopefully come the US Open. If not the US Open, then going into the Australian Open.
That explains why Murray has returned to Newport for the first time since 2006, to make a rare post-Wimbledon appearance on grass. Murray aims to avoid playing high seeds in the first two rounds of majors, something that plagued him at Wimbledon, where he ran into the ever dangerous Isner in his second match.
“Obviously I’ll need to be out there competing and winning matches because it does make, like I said, things trickier,” Murray said. “I was coming into Wimbledon feeling like I could have a deep run. If you’re playing against top guys right at the beginning of the event, obviously makes it a little bit more challenging. That’s kind of what my goals are between now and the US Open.”
Not the only former Wimbledon champ dealing with an abdominal injury
The abdominal injury that knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon prior to his semi-final got all the attention, but Murray had his fair bit of struggle with a similar injury, and it played a significant role in his performance.
After suffering the injury in Stuttgart, Murray’s plans to play Queen’s Club had to be shelved, and he lost his momentum as he headed into Wimbledon. Not being able to serve in practice for ten days made it challenging for the two-time Wimbledon champion.
“The serve and return are the two most important shots in the game,” he said. “I was not able to serve for essentially 10 days off the back of Stuttgart.”
Murray says he felt healthy at Wimbledon. His bigger problem was that he had lost the rhythm he carried in Stuttgart, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios before falling to Matteo Berrettini in three sets in the final.
“Look, it didn’t help,” he said at Wimbledon. “I could have had a good run here.”
It all depends on the body
Murray made it clear that he has no plans to retire, and that the only thing on his mind at this stage of the season is making progress on the court. But he admits that at this point of his career it is virtually impossible to predict what the future holds.
“It depends on how I am physically,” he said. “Physically I feel good, then we’ll try to keep playing.
“But it’s extremely difficult with the problems I’ve had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I’m going to be even in a few weeks’ time, never mind in a year’s time.”
For now it is full speed ahead for Murray, Ivan Lendl, and the rest of the team. If the body behaves don’t be surprised if he’s back in the top-25 by the end of the summer. But, as Murray said, it is a big if…