With Carlos Alcaraz opting to extend his rest after that glorious title run at the Wimbledon and Novak Djokovic aiming for a return to tour in later August, Andy Murray will be among the talking points in the ATP circuit as build-up for the US Open 2023 begins from Monday onwards with the ATP 500 Citi Open in Washington.
Murray, whose best-ever finish at the event was reaching the final back in 2006, has been seeded 15 in singles and will also be part of the doubles category alongside countryman Daniel Evans.
At 36 and with a metal hip, one could consider that Murray faces a race against time as he builds up towards his 18th main draw appearance at the Flushing Meadows. But an impactful campaign trough the next six weeks could go a long way into deciding how long he would want to continue fighting.
“Motivation is obviously a big thing,” Murray had said after his second-round loss in Wimbledon earlier this month. “Continuing having early losses in tournaments like this doesn’t necessarily help. I don’t plan to stop right now. But this one will take a little while to get over. Hopefully find the motivation again to keep training, keep pushing, try and keep getting better.”
After that heartbreaking end to his Wimbledon campaign, Murray will return to action for the first time at the Citi Open.
The 15th seed earned a bye into Round of 32 where he will face one between Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic or Brandon Nakashima of the U.S. before running into top seed and world No.9 Taylor Fritz in the third round followed by a possible quarterfinal tie with seventh seed Adrian Mannarino or Wimbledon quarter-finalist Chris Eubanks.
Among the other top names who will be part of the Citi Open main draw are former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson – who recently came out of retirement, Frances Tiafoe, third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov.
After Citi Open, the three-time Grand Slam winner is expected to be part of the back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments on Toronto and Cincinnati which will have the likes of Alcaraz and Djokovic in the draw.
The Rogers Cup begins from August 7 onwards while the Cincinnati Masters will be from August 13.
Murray has won five titles between the two events, but the last of it came in 2015. Following his return from hip surgery, he has barely made it past the third round.
Murray is presently ranked 44 in the world with 1030 points and in a bid to be seeded at New York, he has to earn more than double his presently points tally to make it to the top 32.
With the Citi Open draw weakened after the withdrawals of defending champion Nick Kyrgios and former US Open winner Daniil Medvedev, Murray would fancy his chance to make an impactful run in Washington. A run to the final would only put him on the verge while a title win would almost guarantee him the spot.