Murray relishes return to noisiest Grand Slam event

The US Open, which begins here today, is not everybody's favourite event. The heat and the humidity can be stifling, the scheduling can be taxing and the hullabaloo off the court can test even the coolest players. The noise and razzmatazz of a night in the Arthur Ashe Stadium is a world away from the hushed and respectful silence of Wimbledon's Centre Court.

For Andy Murray, however, there is no more enjoyable tournament in the world. The British No 1 has felt an affinity with Flushing Meadows since he won the US Open junior title four years ago. The hard courts here are his favourite surface and he has a good rapport with the crowds.

"It's a great atmosphere," Murray said. "I find the people very friendly and the weather tends to be very good. I love the tournament. The atmosphere is different to all the other Grand Slams. There's always a little buzz, even in the middle of the points. That's the main difference bet-ween this tournament and others. It's good for the crowd to get into it."

He is making no predictions, but Murray looks better placed than ever to go deep into a Grand Slam tournament. The 21-year-old Scot has enjoyed the best summer of his career, reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final, at Wimbledon, and winning his first Masters series title in Cincinnati.

His draw looks fav-ourable. Today Murray plays Sergio Roitman, a 29-year-old Argentine who hardly strays from clay courts and has not won a match on any other surface since January. Michael Llodra (the world No 38) or Teimuraz Gabashvili (85) would await in the second round, probably followed by Feliciano Lopez (28) in the third and Stanislas Wawrinka (10) in the fourth. David Ferrer is his scheduled quarter-final opponent and although the world No 4 was a semi-finalist here last year the Scot won their only previous meeting on hard courts.

The winner would probably face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. Murray has never beaten the new world No 1, but, away from clay, he feels he has been close.

"Each time I've played him on hard courts, I've felt comfortable. I've never felt that I was outclassed. This for me is my best surface and I think once I get stronger physically and my game gets better over the next year or two, I'm sure I'll beat him sooner rather than later."

Did Murray feel ready to win a Grand Slam tournament? "I don't think you really know whether you're ready or not," he said. "You do all the things that are going to give you the best shot of doing it and when the opportunity comes you either take it or you don't.

"I'd like to think that I can take it when the opportunity comes, but I've never been past the quarters before. I've put in enough work off the court to feel like I can do it physically. Now it just comes down to putting the game together for the whole two weeks."

Roger Federer has won the last four US Opens but after a poor year by his standards the Swiss will not be the top seed at a Grand Slam event for the first time since the 2004 Australian Open. Nadal is No 1 after an outstanding summer in which he has won the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic titles. He has lost only one match since early May.

The Spaniard's only defeat was in Cincinnati against Novak Djokovic, who reached his first Grand Slam final here 12 months ago and is the other form player of the summer. Djokovic is seeded to meet Federer in the semi-finals, having lost to the Swiss in the final last year.

Two more Serbs, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, head the women's competition, with the injured Maria Sharapova a notable absentee. Anne Keothavong, who has climbed to No 87 in the world rankings, is the first British woman to gain direct acceptance into the draw for 10 years and has a good chance of making progress. The 24-year-old Londoner today faces Alexa Glatch, an 18-year-old qualifier from California ranked No 254 in the world.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on