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US Open: Andy Murray crashes out, admits personal limitations

Andy Murray crashed out of the second round at the US Open on Thursday. The Scot lost to 19th seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-1, and was pragmatic about his future in the sport after yet another early exit at a Grand Slam tournament.

The 36-year-old has said that it may be time for him to accept that despite his confidence and his beliefs, he may no longer be capable of making it deep into gruelling majors. The former world number one has made it all the way back up to 37th in the world after a miraculous comeback following back-to-back hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019. He has slowly climbed back up the ranks, but he now admits how challenging it is to play at the highest level.

After his exit in New York, he admitted that the mind and the body no longer align and he isn’t able to play the way that he would like.

“Maybe I need to accept the deep runs and everything that I felt I’m capable of, they might not be there,” he said.

Murray had set some big goals this season

The Scot had an extraordinary year starting with a third round finish at the Australian Open in January. The three-time Grand Slam winner has obviously gone the distance at majors in the past, but his injury troubles almost put an end to his career in 2019. He announced his decision to undergo hip resurfacing surgery in Australia at that time, and admitted that it could be a career-ending injury.

Fast forward to 2023 and Murray managed not only to come back, he also made it to the third round in Melbourne. That ignited a flame within him, and allowed him to believe that if he stays careful, he may be able to go deep in another major tournament.

He decided to skip the French Open, opting instead to rest and focus on his preparations for Wimbledon, his home Grand Slam. However, despite all that, he only managed to make it to the second round at the All England Club.

Despite the speed bump, Murray continued to play in the ATP Challenger Tour where he dominated, winning three titles. His success in the smaller events allowed him to enjoy tennis again, and his consistent runs allowed him to climb to his highest ranking since returning from surgery.

“If I stop enjoying that – or my results, my ranking and everything starts to go backwards, if in a few months’ time I was ranked 60 in the world or whatever instead of moving up – things might change,” he said.

Murray is still seeking that crucial seeding

Not to make any excuses, but Murray could have managed to get past more opponents if he was able to secure a seeding going into both Wimbledon and the US Open. Because he has fallen narrowly short of the top 32 ranking, he was left vulnerable in the draw.

Unfortunately, he was sidelined by an abdominal injury leading up to the US Open, therefore preventing him to rack up some crucial ranking points. In the end, while he was able to get past unseeded Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the first round, 19th seed Dimitrov proved to be a much bigger hurdle.

In Wimbledon, meanwhile, Murray lost to fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Despite this, he knows that if he really wants to go deep, seeding can only do so much for him and he should be ready to face the big names. It might help, but it’s not a guarantee.

Dimitrov outclassed Murray at Arthur Ashe

Dimitrov had the advantage of working with coaches who had worked with Murray in the past, and it was clear that he had a clear gameplan on how to cut down the former world number one. Dimitrov made full use of his backhand slice to slow down the pace of the game to draw Murray into long rallies.

He had the Scot on the back foot with early breaks in each set, and it became clear early in the third set that Murray had no fight left in him.

He is now planning on heading straight back to the UK to figure out his next steps, including whether or not he will be part of the GBR team for the upcoming Davis Cup.

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