Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Andy Murray explains real reason he ditched doubles ahead of Winston-Salem Open | Tennis | Sport

Murray made his return to competitive singles action last week at the Cincinnati Masters, losing to Richard Gasquet in the first round.

It was clear as the match drew to a close that there was still some way to go for Murray to get back up to full fitness on a singles court at a tour-level competition, but there were also promising signs for the future.

The 32-year-old still possessed his strong repertoire of shots and, at times, looked like the Murray of years gone by.

Still, the former world No 1 is under no illusion as to the task at hand of getting back to the top level.

He decided against taking a wild-card entry for the US Open due to concerns over how he would perform in five set matches.

And Murray killed any hopes of seeing him at the final Grand Slam of the year after ruling out any chances of featuring in either the doubles or mixed doubles like he did at Wimbledon.

Now fully focussed on his singles career, the three-time Grand Slam champion admits preparing for doubles matches would hold him back from continuing his progress on the singles court.

“I was hoping to be playing some doubles and practising some singles, but… being scheduled to play doubles at 10:30 pm was not allowing me to practise singles the way I wanted to,” he said.

“Doubles was really helpful and beneficial for me to get back on the court and feel what my body was going to be like.

“But once I started thinking about singles, it was just slowing things down a bit.

“The opportunity came up to play [in Winston-Salem] and from everyone I chatted to, they said it’s a nice tournament.

“Very convenient, lots of practice courts.

“It felt like a smart move to come and play here before heading home.

“Hopefully I can get more than one match here and try to win my first singles match since coming back from the surgery.”

Murray begins his Winston-Salem Open tournament against American Tennys Sandgren tonight, with play not getting underway until after midnight (BST).

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