FORMER British No1 Greg Rusedski believes Andy Murray hid the extent of a back problem during his ill-fated US Open defence, and that winning Wimbledon harmed his chances at Flushing Meadows.
Murray looked out of sorts in Thursday’s straight-sets quarter-final defeat to ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, yet played down stiffness in his back. Rusedski believes it may have been worse than the Scot let on, and that achieving a lifetime ambition in July took a heavy toll.
“Murray’s ultimate goal was to win Wimbledon. He achieved that and no British man had done it for 77 years,” said Rusedski.
“He already had some sort of problem and I noticed throughout [the US Open] he was wearing a vest, even when conditions were hot, so I’m not 100 per cent sure how the back is. He says it’s fine but you’ve got to question it. It’s a little like when [Roger] Federer wore a shirt underneath and he finally admitted this year that his back was a problem.
“If you’re not fully healthy and you achieve a goal you have been going for your whole life it’s difficult to get straight back on the bike again.”
Rusedski, who will be in action in London at the Statoil Masters in December, fancies second seed Rafael Nadal to beat world No1 Novak Djokovic in the men’s US Open final tonight.
“He’s been Superman. He’s never played better, never hit the ball better,” he added. “This is the Nadal that won the 2010 US Open, but slightly better.”
Greg Rusedski will play the Statoil Masters Tennis with John McEnroe, Goran Ivanisevic and Tim Henman at the Royal Albert Hall, 4-8 December.
Greg Rusedski will play the Statoil Masters Tennis with John McEnroe, Goran Ivanisevic and Tim Henman at the Royal Albert Hall, 4-8 December. Hospitality packages from £179. Call 02082335854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More info: www.statoilmasterstennis.com