US Open 2014: Andy Murray confident for title challenge

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
British number one Andy Murray during practice in New York
"My body is pain-free. I feel ready," said Murray
US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York
Dates: 25 August-8 September Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on Andy Murray's matches, plus commentary every day from 18:00 or 18:30 BST on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Andy Murray says he is in his best physical condition since he won Wimbledon as he prepares to try and win a second US Open title.

The Briton will take on Dutchman Robin Haase in the first round on Monday.

Murray, 27, has not won a tournament since he had back surgery last September.

"I got a great training block in Miami done, so physically I'm where I would want to be," he said. "My body is pain-free. I feel ready."

Murray's Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarter-finals in July, and he then fell at the same stage in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Despite his failure to win a title in 2014, he has reached two quarter-finals and a semi-final at the three Grand Slams.

Recent US Open champions
2013 Rafael Nadal (Spa)Serena Williams (US)
2012 Andy Murray (GB)Serena Williams (US)
2011 Novak Djokovic (Ser)Samantha Stosur (Aus)
2010 Rafael Nadal (Spa)Kim Clijsters (Bel)
2009 Juan Martin del Potro (Arg)Kim Clijsters (Bel)

"I have been playing well the last few weeks," he said. "I lost to guys who had won the events, and had quite big opportunities in both those matches.

"I feel like I'm playing well. This week has been very good preparation. I'm happy and I feel ready to start the tournament."

The Scot - who will begin his quest for the title on the Louis Armstrong court at approximately 18:00 BST - has won two of his three previous matches against Haase, including a victory from two sets down at Flushing Meadows in 2011.

"It was a tricky match, windy conditions that day and very up and down," said Murray. "It wasn't a particularly clean match, but I found a way to get through."

Haase, 27, has struggled with a right knee injury in recent years and lost heavily to Murray at the Australian Open in 2013, but he feels more optimistic in New York despite a tough draw.

Robin Haase
Haase led Murray at the 2011 US Open but eventually lost in five sets

"Last year at the Australian Open I was like, 'OK, I can go home,'" said the world number 70. "I was just in a bad period of my career where I had no confidence.

"Although I haven't won a lot [this year], I'm confident that I can make it a good match and I believe I can win."

Murray confirmed on Saturday that he is close to signing a dealexternal-link with coach Amelie Mauresmo that will see the Frenchwoman travel with him for 25 weeks of the year.

Haase said he is not likely to follow the Scot's example and work with a female coach.

"For me I wouldn't, because I think you need to understand how the game works. I think that women's tennis and men's tennis are such different games that it's, I think, tough to understand," he said.

"Maybe I'm wrong but that's just a feeling I have."

Murray's fellow Briton Johanna Konta will play her first-round match against Israel's Shahar Peer at around 18:00 BST.

The first night session begins with Maria Sharapova against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko at 00:00 BST on Tuesday, followed by Novak Djokovic against Argentina's Diego Schwartzman.