Andy Murray keeping US Open expectations in check despite good start
He may have come through his first-round match at the US Open, but Andy Murray is not getting carried away.
After spending nearly a year on the sidelines due to a hip problem, Murray played his first Grand Slam match in 14 months when he took on James Duckworth in the first round at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
And he was given a good workout by the Australian as he came from a set down to win 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
The three-time major winner admits he spent more time on court than he wanted to.
“I played some good stuff, although spending three hours and 17 minutes on court was more than I would have liked,” the 31-year-old said in his latest BBC Sport column.
“In the fourth set I made things a bit harder than I needed to and I also had a chance to close out the first set.
“But I got through it – that’s good news.
“And the other positive thing is I felt better than I expected to at the end of the match.
“When I’m going into the match I’m trying to prepare myself mentally that I’m not going to feel great physically after the match, or that my hip will feel painful, so I think about how I’m going to handle that.
“Hopefully not feeling too bad at the end of the match continues and that my body adapts to the load I’m putting it through.”
Next up is Fernando Verdasco and Murray knows what to expect from the Spaniard.
“He will certainly test my movement, that’s for sure,” he added.
“He has got a huge forehand and can do whatever he wants with that shot. He can hit angles, he can flatten out, higher balls.
“He is never an easy guy to play against if he’s on his game.
“It’s my job in that match to stop him dictating and hopefully I can be a bit more offensive and keep him on the back foot.”
As for making it deep into the tournament, he hasn’t changed his outlook despite his good start.
“Before the tournament I said I wasn’t expecting to go far and I don’t think anything changes after beating James.
“I’m still taking it one match at a time, but it’s great being back playing.”
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