Tennis: 'Pumped' Murray eyeing US Open run

AFP , Sunday 30 Aug 2020

File photo: Andy Murray of Britain hits a shot against Dominic Thiem of Austria during their men's singles quarterfinal match in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing. AP

Andy Murray says his true self will be on show at a Grand Slam for the first time in three years this week at the US Open after battling back from a career-threatening hip injury.

Ahead of Monday's start of the US Open, the former world number one said the last time he felt this pain-free going into a tennis major was at Roland Garros in 2017.

"It has been a long journey to get back to this point," the 33-year-old told reporters.

"I'm actually hopefully going to compete at a Slam where I'm not worried about how I'm going to be and how my hip is going to feel. The last time that would have been was in the 2017 French Open.

"It's a long time ago and I know I've played a couple of slams since then but that wasn't really me on the court," he added.

Murray had career-saving hip surgery in 2019, his second hip operation, before suffering another setback with a pelvic injury at the Davis Cup last November.

That, combined with the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, kept him out of competition until the ATP Western and Southern Open in New York this past week, where he reached the last 16.

Murray has dropped to 134th in the world rankings and was handed a wild card for the US Open after narrowly missing out on direct entry.

The 2012 US Open champion said he was "pumped" to be back at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2018.

"Physically right now I feel pretty good. So I'm really happy about that because it's allowing me to practice, and prepare properly and enjoy my time on the court," he said.

Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champion, plays Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round on Tuesday.

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