Rusedski believes Murray’s US Open doubles absence suggests progress towards singles return
Andy Murray’s decision not to play in the US Open doubles gives a “great message” about his progress towards a singles return, according to former British number one Greg Rusedski.
The 32-year-old Murray, who underwent hip surgery seven months ago in a bid to save his career, returned to singles action last week, when he lost 6-4 6-4 to Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
He had initially returned in doubles competition to ease back into the swing of things but confirmed on Friday that he would not continue to do so at the US Open.
Murray will instead play an ATP Tour event – the Winston-Salem Open – where he will face Tennys Sandgren in the first round on Monday night and Rusedski believes it could prove a wise decision from the two-time Wimbledon winner.
“It gives a great message to be quite honest,” Rusedski told the PA news agency.
“I thought he got better in his match with Gasquet and for not having played a match in singles since the Australian Open.
“I thought he got better in the second set, starting moving better and he is getting his focus back onto what he loves doing – playing singles.
“I think it was the right decision, I don’t think that physically he was ready to do three out of five set matches back-to-back.
“He is playing in Winston-Salem and has a good opportunity to win his first match, I don’t think he is ready for the US Open yet so I think it is a smart play to drop down a level and play some challengers during the US Open with the goal to get back to singles.”
Rusedski feels Murray could now be looking to slowly build up back to his best in attempt to make a Grand Slam return next year.
“I think he is smart enough and he knows the goal is to be ready for 2020,” he added.
“I was surprised when he started in Cincinnati, I thought he we was going to start in the singles in the Asian swing and it is the right thing to do.
“If you are not physically ready, he knows where he is with his recovery and exactly what he is doing so we will probably know more by 2020, if he enters the Australian Open, how far he has come.
“If he can get his movement back, that is the big question mark. He is still not up to the speed he once was but that is normal having only recently played his first singles game back.”
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