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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Tennis: Murray Eyes Top Seed At US Open After Wimbledon Exit

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Three-time Grand Slam Champion Andy Murray says he aims to improve his ranking so he can be seeded in the US Open to avoid facing high-ranked players early in the tournament.

Murray suffered a shock Wimbledon exit as he lost to American 20th seed John Isner in the second round on Wednesday.

“I was coming into Wimbledon feeling like I could have a deep run,” he said.

“If you play against top guys right at the beginning of the event, obviously it makes it more challenging.”

Murray added: “I want to try and improve my ranking to a level where I’m getting seeded in Slams. If not [by] the US Open, then going into the Australian Open next year.”

Murray, currently ranked 52nd in the world, had never failed to reach the third round in 13 previous appearances at Wimbledon, where he is a two-time winner.

There are no ranking points for players at Wimbledon this year after the ATP and WTA stripped the tournament of its points following its decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus.

“One of the reasons why improving your ranking and trying to get seeded is important is to avoid playing top players and dangerous guys like that early in tournaments,” said Murray.

“It’s one of those matches that, had I got through, who knows what would have happened.”

The 35-year-old had hip resurfacing surgery in 2019, while an abdominal injury sustained in the Stuttgart Open earlier in June disrupted his preparations for the grass-court Slam.

Murray said he was “not able to serve for essentially 10 days” following that latest setback and when asked whether he would appear again at Wimbledon, added it would depend on his physical condition.

“[If] physically I feel good, then we’ll try to keep playing,” he said.

“It’s extremely difficult with the problems I’ve had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I’m going to be even in a few weeks, never mind in a year.

“It’s not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level.”

On his recent injury, Murray added: “It was frustrating and it didn’t help. I was in a really good place physically and my game was in a good spot.

“I feel disappointed right now. I wanted to do well here.

“I love playing at Wimbledon, a surface that I feel like I can still compete with the best guys on. It hurts.”

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