US Open 2019: Andy Murray to skip tournament in push to revive singles career next year, to play in Winston-Salem Open

  • Murray played his first singles match in seven months against Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati.

  • Murray lost 4-6, 4-6 to Gasquet in Cincinnati in the first round.

  • Murray has already accepted a wildcard into the Winston Salem main draw.

Former World No 1 and on the mend Andy Murray will skip the last grand slam of the season at the US Open completely, he has said during the Cincinnati Open. The 2012 champion had claimed he would focus on the doubles at Flushing Meadows while turning down an opportunity of a wildcard in singles. But now he has overturned his decision by saying "doubles is done for me for the time being."

 US Open 2019: Andy Murray to skip tournament in push to revive singles career next year, to play in Winston-Salem Open

Andy Murray in action against Richard Gasquet during first-round play of the Cincinnati Masters. AP

Instead of focusing his energy on doubles alongside Feliciano Lopez, Murray — who is making his way back to the field following a second hip surgery earlier in the year — will play singles at the Winston-Salem tournament next week before possibly a Challenger Tour event during the US Open.

"I'm not going to play doubles at the US Open," Murray was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"My goal is to get back playing at the level that I want to on the singles court, and I've decided that I need to focus all my energies on that right now," Murray said after he and Lopez reached the doubles quarter-finals in Cincinnati. He will meet brother Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski next.

Murray accepted a wildcard into Winston-Salem main draw which features Kevin Anderson, Denis Shapovalov, Tomas Berdych and Dan Evans among others. Most of the draw features players outside the top-50 in the world with some outside the top-100.

Murray claims he would have entered the qualifying draw had he not progressed in Cincinnati. The focus for the Briton is on getting as many matches before recharging batteries for the next year.

"It doesn't feel like I need to play the main draw of every single tour event. I've hardly played the last couple of years and, having discussed with my team, after this week I think doubles is done for me for the time being."

"The US Open, doubles and mixed, can be another couple of weeks that you are slowing things down. Because I want matches, and that's what I need right now."

The North Carolina event starts on Sunday, and Murray, who will not be seeded, could play his first match on Monday.

"I need to focus my mind on getting matches on the singles court. There aren't many tournaments between now and the end of the year."

Murray said he would make up his mind about his immediate programme after reviewing how he performs next week at Winston-Salem.

"So if I do well in Winston-Salem, I'll know my level is good enough and I'm ready to win matches at tour level, but if not it makes sense to drop down a level and maybe play some smaller tournaments."

Towards the end of September, Murray will head to China, where he is scheduled to play in Zhuhai and Beijing. Another option is to compete at a strong field in Shanghai Masters after which Murray hopes to play indoor events in Europe before closing the year out.

Murray will be making his first appearance in the Winston-Salem tournament, though his brother Jamie has played there.

With inputs from AFP

 

Updated Date: Aug 16, 2019 14:42:07 IST