US Open: Andy Murray preparing for ‘weird’ experience

US Open: Andy Murray preparing for 'weird' experience
Andy Murray won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows in 2012
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 31 August – 13 September
Coverage: Selected radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website, plus daily reports and analysis

Andy Murray is expecting a “weird” experience when he competes at this week’s US Open, which is being held without any fans behind closed doors.

The first grand slam since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic begins in New York on Monday.

The Briton, 33, is playing Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in his first singles match at a major since the 2019 Australian Open after injury problems.

“Mentally it’s going to be difficult for the players,” said Murray.

“But the level of tennis is what’s important. I play my first match on Arthur Ashe where I have experienced some of the best atmospheres I’ve ever had in tennis.

“To go out there in such a huge stadium and have literally no one in the stands is going to be weird. I know that’s going to be the case, so at least I can prepare for it mentally.

“It’s different, but I’m just looking forward to getting to compete in a slam again.”

Former world number one Murray, who won the US Open in 2012, has not played a best-of-five-sets singles match since having a hip resurfacing operation in January 2019.

The Scot reached the last 16 at the Western and Southern Open last week and he is confident his body can withstand the pressures of a major.

“The day off (in between matches) helps for sure,” he said.

“Last week was tough, the day after the match with (Alexander) Zverev, but it was also the first match I had played in 10 months.

“So playing two two-and-a-half-hour matches in the heat of the day was difficult. But my body will learn fast, it has been playing tennis matches its whole life.

“I think it will adjust to what it is required to do. It might just take a bit of time because it has not done it for a while.”

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