Murray expects nervous start as defence of US Open title begins

BRITAIN’S Andy Murray anticipates an anxious start to the defence of his US Open title against Michael Llodra today, though believes his nerves can be swiftly expelled.

The No3 seed finds himself in unchartered territory by starting a grand slam as reigning champion.

And while Murray is wary of the challenge presented by the three-time grand slam doubles champion, he hopes to banish his butterflies and reach round two unscathed.

“Before the first match there will be nerves there,” said Murray. “I expect to be pretty nervous because it’s a new experience, but once the tournament gets going I don’t think it changes too much.”

Murray has won all three of his previous matches against the world No49, Llodra.

However, the 33-year-old has won two doubles titles on hard courts this year and Murray knows he is set for an uneasy encounter.

“It’s a tough match,” he said. “Llodra is a tricky player, serves well, is one of the best doubles players in the world just now and he’s very unpredictable.

“You need to be switched on all the time against him and play a solid match.”