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US Open a step too far for Murray as singles return falls flat in Cincinnati

Murray was beaten in straight sets in his first singles game in seven months.

Murray suffered defeat on Monday.
Murray suffered defeat on Monday.
Image: Gary Landers

ANDY MURRAY WILL scale back his ATP comeback, after the former world number one announced that has no plans to attempt singles play at the US Open.

The three-time Grand Slam winner announced his decision after losing 6-3, 6-3 at the Cincinnati Masters first round to Richard Gasquet on Monday evening. 

It was his first singles match in seven months.

“I’m not going to play the US Open singles,” he confirmed. “It’s a decision I made with my team, I didn’t want to take a wildcard (in singles).”

Murray said he does plan to enter both men’s and mixed doubles at the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year that starts at Flushing Meadows in a fortnight.

The 32-year-old confirmed that he still has some ways to go before returning to his top fitness and will limit his singles activity as he continues to recover from hip resurfacing surgery in January.

Having returned to doubles play two months ago, Murray said he was not sure he was adequately prepared for the demands of Grand Slam singles, where men play best-of-five set matches.

“I just didn’t know today how I was going to feel after a match,” said Murray, who indicated US Open organisers wanted to know whether he was interested in a singles wild card before he played Gasquet.

“I felt like I wanted to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that,” he said.

“I wanted to wait and see, discuss things with my team,” he said. “But there was definitely no certainty that I would have played regardless, even if I was allowed to take a week or 10 days to make that decision.”

Murray did leave the door open for a possible surprise appearance next week in the last ATP tournament before the US Open.

“Maybe I’ll play Winston-Salem,” he said.

Murray, who won the Queen’s Club doubles prior to Wimbledon with Feliciano Lopez, said he is unsure of his partners for the final major of the season.

“I don’t know who I’m going to play doubles or mixed with there.”

© – AFP 2019

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