Andy Murray believes that the tennis world could see some surprise upsets in the upcoming US Open due to the unorthodox preparation players have had.
The tennis season has been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a slew of events cancelled since Indian Wells and Miami became the first tournaments to fall in March, including Wimbledon.
The WTA and ATP tours finally kick off again in the coming weeks and Murray believes that a lack of match practice could leave players undercooked in Flushing Meadows.
“You just can’t replicate matches in practice, it just isn’t the same,” said Murray.
“It is different on the body, on the mind. The pressure is just different and no matter how hard you try to make your practices as challenging and difficult as matches, they just aren’t.
“Some players who have had injury lay-offs will probably be a little bit more experienced in terms of coming back after a long period, but it’s an opportunity for players.
“There will be upsets for sure. Going into the US Open with potentially only one or two matches in the Cincinnati event in New York, it will make for some interesting results.”
Murray also called for more mixed events in the tennis calendar, citing the cancellation of the Hopman Cup as a particular black mark against tennis’ name.
“I think sports miss a bit of a trick with this stuff. The Hopman Cup, for example, was a brilliant event in my opinion … Putting match-ups in tennis like Serena Williams and Roger Federer on the same court, it is so brilliant for our sport.
“We are able to do that in tennis and I think we should embrace it a little bit more, not necessarily every single week, but at times it would be great. I would like to see Rafa on the court with some of the top female players.”