US Open 2016: Murray determined to make every chance count


Andy Murray is looking to seize every opportunity for success as he enters the latter stages of his career, starting with the 2016 US Open.

The 29-year-old Briton captured his third grand slam crown at Wimbledon last month, before successfully defending his Olympic singles title in Rio de Janeiro.

Murray reached the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati last week, losing to Marin Cilic as a career-best winning run ended at 22 matches.

The world number two now returns to the scene of his first slam success, a five-set triumph over Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2012 US Open.

And with the Serbian struggling for form, Rafael Nadal still seeking full fitness and Roger Federer absent through injury, Murray knows the final major of the year represents a valuable opportunity to add to his haul of big prizes. 

"Well, I'm 29. I would imagine if I'm lucky I'd be playing at this level for three, four more years, max, I would think," he told a news conference when asked about his prospects of achieving more success. 

"I mean, it's not easy to do that. I hope I'm still playing like this when I'm 38 years old, but it's pretty unlikely.

"I'm actually using that as a positive, that you have to make the most of every opportunity. It's a slightly different mentality to maybe when you're younger and you feel like you have a bit more time on your side.

"I want to make the most of every tournament I play in and try and win and achieve as much as I can the next few years."

After suffering an upset at the hands of Kevin Anderson in last year's fourth round, Murray's first match this week is against Lukas Rosol, the world number 82 Czech, with whom he had a verbal altercation with at the 2015 BMW Open in Munich.

Djokovic has been drawn against Jerzy Janowicz, while Nadal is up against Denis Istomin. In Federer's absence, Stan Wawrinka, beaten Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, as well as 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori and winner Cilic, loom as the other likely challengers.

Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, has been handed a wildcard entry into the tournament after taking silver in Brazil and could be an awkward early obstacle for the favourites.

In the women's draw, Wimbledon champions Serena Williams is the top seed and favourite, with Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza, who upset the American in the final of the Australian Open and French Open respectively, are also expected to contend. The German and the Spaniard are seeded second and third respectively.

First up for Williams is Ekaterina Makarova, while Kerber meets Polona Hercog and Muguruza faces Elise Mertens.

Last year's surprise US Open winner Flavia Pennetta retired at the end of the 2015 season, with Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep and Venus Williams among those with realistic hopes of halting Serena.