- 13 Aug 2019
Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray said he needs time to get back to his best after opting not to play singles at the upcoming US Open.
Murray made his long-awaited singles comeback at the Western & Southern Open, where he lost 6-4 6-4 to Richard Gasquet in the first round on Monday.
It was Murray’s first singles match since the Australian Open in January after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, which left the former world number one’s stellar career in serious doubt.
Despite his return to the singles circuit, Murray will skip the US Open, though the 32-year-old plans to play in both the doubles and mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows.
“We were hoping to maybe hold a wild card until a little bit closer to the time to see how I feel and get some matches hopefully and a bit of practice,” Murray – the 2012 US Open champion – said.
“[It was] a decision I made with my team. I didn’t want to take a wild card today because I just didn’t know how I was going to feel after a match. I felt like I wanted to be fair for me to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that.”
Gasquet goes on in Cincy
@richardgasquet1 defeats Andy Murray on his singles return to reach the 2R
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) August 12, 2019
Murray, who looked rusty against Gasquet, added: “If I would have taken the wild card and then not played, then I would have been getting loads of questions about my hip and, ‘Why has he turned it down? Is something wrong? What’s the problem?’
“It was more likely that I was not going to [play], because although I did fine in the match today, physically, my legs felt quite heavy at the end of the match, and that’s probably not going to change a whole lot in a couple of weeks.”
Murray, who won the doubles title with Feliciano Lopez on his return to the ATP Tour at Queen’s Club in June, continued: “I just haven’t played a match for seven months. I hardly played before then, either. I haven’t played many matches in the past 18 months, really. It’s going to take time, and I haven’t been practising lots of singles until recently.
“I need time, and it’s not going to come back in one week or one tournament. It’s been a long process to get here, but to get back maybe to where I want to get is going to take a lot of time and a lot more work.”
“My mentality changed a lot because I wasn’t in pain anymore. And I was always worried, ‘What will I do with myself without tennis?’ But actually, once I got rid of the pain, I realised I didn’t really need tennis. Tennis wasn’t the most important thing for me,” Murray said.
“I’m obviously happy to be back playing. I thought it maybe would have changed my perspective completely on things, but I’m sitting here disappointed, which I think is probably a good thing, and if I want to get back to playing at a high level, if I was sort of just happy to be back on the court and not really worried about the outcome, then I’d be a bit maybe concerned about that.”