US Open: Andy Murray says he is nearly back to his best

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Andy Murray (left) with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Andy Murray will play Novak Djokovic for the 21st time when they meet on Wednesday
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 believes he is close to playing his best tennis after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the US Open quarter-finals.

The Briton won 7-5 7-5 6-4 at Flushing Meadows to set up a meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.

Murray, 27, will go into that match on the back his first win over a top-10 player in 14 months.

"I don't feel like I'm that far away from playing my best tennis," said the Scot, who is seeded eighth.

"It's still obviously a long way from trying to win the tournament, but it's only nine sets now, three matches, and I'll just try and take it one set at a time.

"I may be five, six days away from potentially winning another Grand Slam.

"I know there is a lot of work to be done between now and then, but putting everything out there on the courts, the last Slam of the year, I hope I can play well."

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller's analysis
"Murray set the platform by dropping only three points on serve in the first set, and then took the initiative by attacking Tsonga's second serve when the Frenchman went set point down. The second set finished in exactly the same way, but only after Murray went into attack mode when 2-4 down. He had real fire in his belly throughout, and was unrecognisable from the man who lost to Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon. Djokovic will start Wednesday's quarter-final as a worthy favourite, but will not enjoy the ride if Murray can produce more of the same."

Murray had not beaten a top-10 player since last year's Wimbledon final until Tuesday, and had let a number of strong positions slip away in recent matches, including against Tsonga in Canada last month.

"I hadn't closed out those matches, whether it was against Jo or whoever," said Murray.

"It happened a few times this year, but I have also won quite a few matches this year as well. It wasn't like every time I stepped on the court I couldn't close out a match.

Andy Murray (left) with Novak Djokovic
Andy Murray has won two of the last three Grand Slam finals played against Novak Djokovic

"It was just happening from time to time - and a few times too often this year - so it was nice to win another one with no stress.

"Obviously winning matches does build confidence. I played against some very good players this year and lost a few close matches."

Murray will play Djokovic for the 21st time on Wednesday, with the Serb leading 12-8 and having won four of their last five meetings.

However, Murray has won two of their last three matches in the ultimate pressure of Grand Slam finals, at the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013.

Murray v Djokovic - last six meetings
2014ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami - quarter-finalNovak Djokovic won 7-5 6-3
2013Wimbledon - finalAndy Murray won 6-4 7-5 6-4
2013Australian Open - finalNovak Djokovic won 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2
2012ATP World Tour Finals, London - round robinNovak Djokovic won 4-6 6-3 7-5
2012ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai - finalNovak Djokovic won 5-7 7-6 (11-9) 6-3
2012US Open - finalAndy Murray won 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2

Asked if that would help him on Wednesday, Murray added: "I wouldn't say in terms of getting confidence, it's just having that experience of playing those matches.

"They were both very long, tough matches as well, so I know that I can last those matches against him."

The moment Murray won the US Open

Djokovic has reached the quarter-final without dropping a set but is well aware of the challenge that Murray poses.

"We all know his quality," said the top seed.

"He's already been Grand Slam champion, Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic Games, so he has a lot of success and a lot of experience behind him.

"He knows how to play centre court at the US Open, where he played some great tennis and we had some great matches.

"The last one was in finals in 2012 in five sets. It's a very tough, tough draw."

Top Stories