Cincinnati Masters: Andy Murray must find form ahead of US Open to avoid being blown away at Flushing Meadows
World No. 47 Andy Murray faces old foe Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday night. Murray is yet to win a match in the US Swing, losing to Mikael Ymer at the Citi Open and Taylor Fritz at the Canadian Open. If the Briton wants any chance of being competitive at the final Grand Slam of the year, he must find some form, and fast.
Andy Murray’s recent trend of underperforming during the US Swing has continued so far in 2022, something he needs to change at the Cincinnati Masters.
Murray will face old foe Stanislas Wawrinka on Monday having lost in the first round of the Citi Open and the Canadian Open.
It feels like a return to the Murray from last year when he looked physically drained, and not quite ready to take on the higher ranked players, with everything he did appearing to be anything but easy.
Winning against Tsitsipas was a key moment for Murray in his, what feels like a second career after two hip surgeries, as he beat a top five player for the first time since 2016.
The 35-year-old proved he still has what it takes and certainly showed glimpses of his very best.
Andy Murray of Great Britain walks off the court after losing to Mikael Ymer of Sweden during Day 3 of the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 01 2022 in Washington, DC.
Image credit: Getty Images
It’s been two months since that great form though, and Murray hasn’t looked close to that level since.
Nevertheless, the Briton still believes in himself and will not be throwing the towel in anytime soon.
“Tennis has given me an amazing life,” Murray told the Washington Post.
"It has also given me a purpose each day. There is a routine because you’re always trying to improve yourself and get better at something. I enjoy that process.
“I love this sport. That’s essentially why I am back and why I wanted to keep going: because I love the sport.
“There’s a lot of people that feel like maybe I shouldn’t be playing. But I love tennis, and I love competing, and I feel like I can get better than where I am today.
"If I reach that point where I don’t feel like I can improve or that things are maybe going backward, then that would maybe change where I’m at.”
Murray’s most recent loss was to world No. 12 Taylor Fritz at the Canadian Open, but a clash with Wawrinka provides him the perfect opportunity to at least return to winning ways.
Taylor Fritz (USA) shakes Andy Murray (GBR) hand after his win during the first round ATP National Bank Open match on August 09, 2022 at IGA Stadium in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
Wawrinka too is on his way back from injury and hasn’t won a singles match since Queens in June.
Should Murray get through the Swiss star, which he has no excuses of not, compatriot Cameron Norrie could be next in the second round with fifth seed Casper Ruud potentially waiting in round three. It won’t be easy for Murray.
But, should he at least get the chance of facing Ruud, that feeling of winning and wiping away any rustiness will serve him plenty of good.
Can Murray be seeded for the US Open?
Murray, who is 47th in the world, had high hopes of being seeded for the US Open, which takes place from August 29-September 11.
But, that looks like an unlikely probability as he would have to at least reach the final of the Cincinnati Masters and pick up a minimum of 600 points to vault up the rankings.
Forget rankings for now, Murray must find some form because time is running out to save a swing in the US which has barely got going.