FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Believe it or not, the US Open is a lot easier then Wimbledon for Andy Murray. I New York, the second seeded player can be more relaxed, compared to the scrutiny he gets in London.
“Yeah, it’s normal,” said Murray, who hopes to finally win a Grand Slam this year after losing to Roger Federer in straight sets in the 2008 Finals. “It’s not like you sort of get followed around. People are not sort of following you back to the hotel whereas back home, you know, you can get people waiting outside your house or following you to dinner if you want to go out. It’s not like that here. So it makes it easier to relax away from the court.”
It’s on the turf at Arthur Ashe where Murray looks to make his mark. Last season he was the surprise of the tournament, rising up from sixth seed to challenge Frederer for the title. Yet, much like many opponents, the now five time champion swatted away his 22 year-old opponent.
“If you watch Roger playing against anyone, if leave the ball in the middle of the court against him, you give him enough second serves to attack,” Murray said. “He comes forward against anyone.”
Now the page has turned and Murray is looking for the elusive slam, which he said “is the one thing he wants to do in tennis.” Although he was the hometown favorite during Wimbledon, the tennis star lost to Andy Roddick in the semifinals in four sets.
But just two months later, Murray has a chance to make his mark in New York, and even though he was the clear favorite in London, he knows the Flushing crowd will support him.
“Obviously at Wimbledon, the support that I has has been great over the past few years, but I have also had great support here,” he said. “I’ve played some of my best matches here and last year had a very good run.”
If Murray plays Federer again it will be in the final. Although he fared well against the best player in the world, he most recently lost to the Swiss native during the Cincinnati Master semifinals last week.
“I started off a bit sluggish and hit balls in the middle of the court,” he said. “I’ve given him too many opportunities in the first set.”
That’s too weeks away and Murray will have to go through the tough last summer tournament first. He faces Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the first round.
Hopefully no one follows him around.