Andy Murray‘s decision not to play in the US Open doubles gives a “great message” about his progress towards a singles return, according to former British number one Greg Rusedski.
The 32-year-old Murray, who underwent hip surgery seven months ago in a bid to save his career, returned to singles action last week, when he lost 6-4, 6-4 to Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
He had initially returned in doubles competition to ease back into the swing of things but confirmed on Friday that he would not continue to do so at the US Open.
Murray will instead play an ATP Tour event – the Winston-Salem Open – where he will face Tennys Sandgren in the first round on Monday night and Rusedski believes it could prove a wise decision from the two-time Wimbledon winner.
“It gives a great message to be quite honest,” Rusedski told PA.
“I thought he got better in his match with Gasquet and for not having played a match in singles since the Australian Open.
“I thought he got better in the second set, starting moving better and he is getting his focus back onto what he loves doing – playing singles.
“I think it was the right decision, I don’t think that physically he was ready to do three out of five set matches back-to-back.
“He is playing in Winston-Salem and has a good opportunity to win his first match, I don’t think he is ready for the US Open yet so I think it is a smart play to drop down a level and play some challengers during the US Open with the goal to get back to singles.”
Rusedski feels Murray could now be looking to slowly build up back to his best in attempt to make a Grand Slam return next year.
“I think he is smart enough and he knows the goal is to be ready for 2020,” he added.
“I was surprised when he started in Cincinnati, I thought he we was going to start in the singles in the Asian swing and it is the right thing to do.
“If you are not physically ready, he knows where he is with his recovery and exactly what he is doing so we will probably know more by 2020, if he enters the Australian Open, how far he has come.
“If he can get his movement back, that is the big question mark. He is still not up to the speed he once was but that is normal having only recently played his first singles game back.”
Nick Kyrgios overcame a bothersome back and used two of his 18 aces to close things out with a two-tiebreaker victory over No3 seed Daniil Medvedev to win the Citi Open final.
Kyrgios won his second title of the year and moved his ranking back into the top 30 with a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) win.
“Yeah, it’s amazing. Honestly, you know where I was six months ago. Some of the things I was doing. I was just putting myself in a really tough situation and to respond like this, having incredible support, it’s amazing,” the Australian said of his victory.
“I’ve had people behind me, backing me, and they never lost faith in me even though I lost it in myself. This week means a lot.
“Obviously, it’s great to get the win but, you know, I’ve proved to myself and to a lot of people that are backing me that I still have it and can still produce at the highest level.”
Nick Kyrgios saved a match point as he overcame top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the final of the Citi Open in Washington.
The Australian notched up his fourth win against a top-10 player this year as he downed his Greek opponent 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7) in two hours and eight minutes.
Kyrgios got off to a flying start, breaking Tsitsipas in his second service game before clinching the opening set.
But the world number six remained undeterred and fought back to level up the match at one set all.
A closely-fought decider ended in a tiebreak, with Krygios firing a service winner to save a match point against him at 6-5 down before eventually triumphing on a second match point of his own.
The Australian will now face Daniil Medvedev, after the Russian ousted lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk.
Medvedev had a more straightforward semi-final clash, needing just 56 minutes to win 6-2, 6-2.
The 23-year-old converted all five of his break-point opportunities and won 78 per cent of his first-serve points during the match.
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem triumphed on his home soil as he won the Austria Open title in Kitzbuhel.
The world number four saved all six break points he faced to defeat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (0), 6-1.