x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Action man Murray turns his attention to US Open

Having lost last year's final at Flushing Meadows, the Scot is convinced he can go one better in September.

A dejected Andy Murray says goodbye to this year's Wimbledon.
A dejected Andy Murray says goodbye to this year's Wimbledon.

Andy Murray's remarkable physical transformation from a frail teenager to powerful young man has led to the British No 1 being described as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of tennis. The Scot's defiant message in the wake of his heart-breaking Wimbledon exit in the tightest of semi-finals was taken straight from the muscle-heavy action hero's script. "I'll be back," he roared, promising to be stronger and even better prepared to claim the major honours in the game after seeing the most cherished title of all slip agonisingly away.

It could easily be Murray rather than Andy Roddick preparing to throw a spanner into well-oiled machinery of Roger Federer this afternoon. A set point here, a break point there, a lucky Roddick volley - the dividing line between success and failure was so thin. Murray is only 22, though, and providing he remains free from injury he looks a solid bet to win a grand slam one day. The same was never said of his predecessor Tim Henman, who reached four semi-finals here. It was always a question of hoping that Henman would eventually capture his holy grail than expecting him to do so.

In Murray's case the expectations are great. He already has 12 titles under his belt and reached his first grand slam final at the US Open last year. He is convinced he can go one better at the Flushing Meadows in September and is already focusing on his American campaign as he analysed his defeat by Roddick. "I've got five weeks before my next tournament," he said, looking forward to a well-earned breather. "I'm not 100 per cent sure what I'll do next.

"But, I will take a little bit of time off and then go over to train in America before the [hard court] stretch over there." wjohnson@thenational.ae