Murray sets out on road to US Open

Andy Murray, the precocious 18-year-old who now bears the official title of "Next Great British Hope", will today begin the next phase of his project to reach the world's top 10. After the buzz he created at Wimbledon it is fair to say the level of expectation is considerable.

At the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Murray has been drawn against France's Gregory Carraz. Greg Rusedski is also here, as defending champion in this grass-court event, his opponent from the qualifying rounds not yet decided.

This will be Murray's first appearance since his third-round defeat at Wimbledon to David Nalbandian in a five-set match in which the teenager's fitness appeared to be lacking. But it will not be simply his fitness under scrutiny here: if Murray is to succeed, it will be in these less glamorous tournaments that he needs to perform convincingly. His cause has been helped by the appointment of Mark Petchey as his full-time coach.

This tournament, for which Murray obtained a wild card, is the first of a series in the US for the new pair. From here they travel to Santa Cruz for the Aptos Challenger, followed by the RCA Championships in Indianapolis. From there they may attend a Masters Series tournament in Cincinnati before the US Open qualifying tournament.

"We're excited to give Andy the opportunity to play," said Mark Stenning, the tournament director. "He is a young man with a lot of talent."

Comments