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US Open R1: Andy Murray vs James Duckworth

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Andy Murray will make his Grand Slam return at the US Open on Monday 27th August 2018. It is a fitting return to the major tournaments who hasn’t been able to play at a slam since Wimbledon 2017. As a junior Andy won the boys’ singles title in New York in 2004, four years later he would make his first slam final there, and four years after that he lifted his first major trophy on the Arthur Ashe stadium in Flushing Meadows to become only the third man to win both the junior and main draw titles. The other two were Stefan Edberg and Andy Rodick.

Since 2012 the tournament has proved difficult for the Scot. Returning in 2013 as defending champion and with a Wimbledon title to his name, Andy struggled with his back injury and lost a routine and angst filled quarterfinal to Stan Wawrinka before undergoing back surgery a few weeks later. In 2014 he was still learning to trust his post-surgery body and finding his form when he was handed a difficult draw and battled in the late night chill against Novak Djokovic in a four set quarterfinal which ended around 2am. 2015 saw Andy schedule questionably in the period between the Davis Cup quarterfinal and the US Open, and he ultimately arrived in New York exhausted and unwell before losing in four sets to Kevin Anderson in the last sixteen. Fatigue was a factor again in 2016, arriving as Wimbledon and Olympic champion once again, but his quarterfinal loss to Kei Nishikori was a bizarre collapse in concentration and growing rage prompted by a closing roof, the sound system feedback producing a noise like a gong, and a misfortunate butterfly.

Last year he arrived at the tournament hoping to play, despite the evident pain he was in, before holding an emotional press conference to confirm his withdrawal the day before the tournament began. He didn’t play on tour again until the grass season began in June, but wasn’t ready to play Wimbledon. Washington and Cincinnati followed on the hard courts, and a huge amount of physical preparation being conducted in Philadelphia throughout August. Those who have been fortunate enough to watch him practice on site at the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows have reported that he has played well. Practice partners have included Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Andy played one of the last matches on the old Louis Armstrong Stadium when he lost in 2015. It was a court he disliked playing on more than any other in the world. The space around the court was cramped, the court’s sunken position on site meant it trapped the heat and humidty of New York, and over the years it was the location of more than its fair share of ‘Murraycoasters’. But now it has gone, torn down in late 2015 and rebuilt over the last three years the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, complete with more space, more seats and a roof, will play host to Andy’s Grand Slam return when he takes to the court with opponent James Duckworth, an Australian player who has suffered with a foot, shoulder and elbow injuries, under going five surgeries over the last year, and is ranked 445 to Andy’s 378.

Both men have entered the final slam of the year using protected ranking. Duckworth’s higest ranking has been world number eighty-two. Andy holds an impressive 22-2 win-loss record against Australians on the main tour, but has lost the last two matches he has played against them on the grass courts at Queen’s Club. This will be the first meeting between Andy and James Duckworth. All of the matches Andy has played on hard courts this month have gone to three sets, but he hasn’t played a best of five match for over a year and this first round match will be both a physical and mental test, one which Andy has said he is prepared to ‘gut out’ if required.

The match is scheduled second on Louis Armstrong Stadium, at an estimated time of 1pm EDT, and 6pm BST. Weather update tomorrow.

[ Last edit by amongsttheleaves August 27, 2018, 08:06 pm ] IP Logged
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Thanks so much for the write-up, ATL. I can tell you that if the weather is remotely like it is today (although admittedly I'm 60 miles further east in Long Island), it'll be fantastic. Clear, sunny and about 21˚, going up to 29˚, with what feels like no humidity. However, now that I've just checked the forecast, it looks as if it'll be hotter tomorrow (high of 33˚), with some clouds. But it's supposed to cool down in the second half of the week.
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Thanks atl. Everything crossed!  Fingers crossed
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Thank you ATL.  As I said in the other thread, early tea tomorrow night. Good luck Andy!
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Many thanks for the intro ATL.  Let's hope Andy finds the revamped LA more to his liking and that no wayward butterflies or feathers get in his road!
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I hope Andy achieves a 3 set win and thank you for telling us about the weather Tamara Smile  Thank you ATL for the interesting write up.
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Looking forward to seeing him play this evening, have taken out a free 30 trial of Amazon Prime so I can watch the US Open over the next couple of weeks. We know from Washington that he is capable of three set matches, let’s that is as far as he needs to go this afternoon.

Reading the preview and that 2016 quarter final, I think that is the biggest lost opportunity in his career. But it is in the past, let’s hope he creates some more good memories at the US Open, this year.
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Thanks atl great intro. Excited and good luck to our boy!
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Thanks atl. I have out of town company and will be ar lunch when Andy is playing. So good luckadh boy heres to a win in three slets. You can do this!
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stupid question don't suppose this is going be on tv anywhere
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stupid question don't suppose this is going be on tv anywhere

Amazon Prime is the UK broadcaster, online only, or compatible TVs.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/video/offers/ref=dvm_uk_sl_ambr%7Cc_270768025579_m_XYUAzCeD-dt_s_/260-0596959-0790552

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Conditions are being described as very hot and humid on court. Halep down 2-6 in just under half an hour.

Kanepi now leads Halep by a set and a break. It was a double break but Halep broke back at 0-3 down. So if Kanepi keeps her lead Andy could be on before 6pm.

May have posted too soon, Halep fighting back and the pressure of keeping the lead is getting to Kanepi. 4-4. Now 5-4 Kanepi and she’ll serve for the match.

Halep out. Andy on in about ten to fifteen minutes.
[ Last edit by amongsttheleaves August 27, 2018, 05:28 pm ] IP Logged
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It's definitely hotter and much more humid today than it was the whole weekend. I'm glad Andy's playing today because according to the forecast it's going to be a lot worse tomorrow.
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Well that was a big upset in the ladies!
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Well that was a big upset in the ladies!
Didn’t expect that at all Aileen.
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