Andy Murray says he is playing the best tennis of his life as he looks to capitalise on the growing frailties of his rivals and capture a second US Open title.
Before Monday’s start to the season’s final grand slam in New York, the 29-year-old Scot is the sport’s man of the moment.
Since losing the French Open final to Novak Djokovic in June, Murray has won Queen’s Club, a second Wimbledon title and successfully defended his Olympic crown in Rio.
His career-best 22-match winning streak came to a halt at the hands of Marin Cilic in the Cincinnati final last weekend when he simply ran out of gas.
But that has not dented his confidence that he can claim a second US Open, four years after his breakthrough in New York saw him become the first British man in 76 years to win a grand slam title.
Murray has played in all of the first three finals of the majors in this year, losing to world No 1 Djokovic in Melbourne and Paris before putting Milos Raonic, one of the sport’s widely hyped new generation, in his place in a straight-sets spanking in the Wimbledon final. Murray’s consistency on the tour in recent weeks is in stark contrast to the roller-coaster fortunes of Djokovic, the defending champion in New York.
He won a maiden French Open to complete the career grand slam, but was dumped out of Wimbledon in the third round.
Outside of the top two, fivetime champion Roger Federer is out with a knee injury.
Other contenders are likely to be Rafael Nadal, world No 3 Stan Wawrinka, sixth-ranked Raonic, world No 7 Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, the surprise 2014 champion, and 2009 winner Del Potro.