Andy Murray ready to take flight in New York
Life is rarely smooth for the Scot, who lives on the edge of his emotions on court, but he has had a calm enough fortnight since coming back to the game, and away from the battle he gives no hint of anxiety, physical or mental
Defending US Open champion Andy Murray is happy with the way his preparations have gone for the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Andy Murray used to do the nine-hour road slog from Cincinnati to New York for the US Open, a largely mind-numbing drive lifted from the pages of Jack Kerouac but without the chemical assistance.
The Scot’s motoring days would seem to be numbered, however, at least across the US. The defending champion now arrives in a private jet. It is not the luxury he pays for but the convenience and the optimum conditions to rest before the final slam tournament of the year, one which will put serious demands on his body and spirit if he gets through the fortnight and seven potential five-setters to reach the final again.
“Sometimes I’m still up for driving,” he said before heading for the local airport after his two-set loss to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open.
“I drove a few years ago, but it can take a while. When you’re trying to prepare for a grand slam it’s probably better to try to get there as quickly as possible, and not be cramped in a car for nine hours.”
Routine is at the core of his preparation, and, despite failing to reach the weekend in Cincinnati and in Montreal, he is satisfied with his return to tennis after a three-week break to recover from the rigours of winning Wimbledon. Some things he has control of, such as accommodation. “I will stay in the same hotel this year. I’ve changed in Australia, for example, numerous times, but I’ve stayed in the same hotel the last couple of years there.
“Wimbledon I’m at home, then the US Open I’ll stay in the same hotel. It’s pretty quiet. You need to try to conserve as much energy as you can during the slams, so the more you can get away from everything, the less noise, the better.”
The anticipation this time, however, the combined rush of raising his level and accepting the challenge of a similar elevation in the quality of his rivals’ tennis, surely will be different than on his previous 10 visits.
“Yeah, obviously I will be excited. It’s going to be a new experience for me. At this stage of my career, it doesn’t happen too often where you’re doing something for the first time, so I’ll look forward to that and hopefully deal with it okay. I’m glad I’ve played 10 matches, including the doubles, the past couple of weeks. That’s decent. It could have been better, but it definitely could have been worse as well. Going in there with a decent amount of matches is good.”
Life is rarely smooth for Murray, who lives on the edge of his emotions on court, but he has had a calm enough fortnight since coming back to the game, and away from the battle he gives no hint of anxiety, physical or mental. That has not always been the case.