Andy Murray will begin his US Open campaign next week with his sights will be on another grand slam title & the World no. 1 position.
The Scot is the second seed for the year’s final major and was placed in the opposite side of the draw to both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
The 30-year-old could also regain top spot by making the final provided that Nadal does not go past the quarter-final stage and Federer exits in the semi-finals.
Here, we look at Murray’s route to the title.
Round one – Tennys Sandgren
Murray’s first test comes against an American ranked 104 with probably the best name in tennis. Sandgren, 26, only made his grand slam debut at the French Open and should not provide much of an obstacle.
Round two – Florian Mayer
Veteran German Mayer is now ranked 75th after reaching a career high of 18 six years ago. An unorthodox opponent, he is more at home on clay. Mayer won his most recent clash with Murray in 2014 but had previously lost three times, including in New York in 2013.
Round three – Diego Schwartzman
The first seed in Murray’s path is 29th seed Schwartzman. The 25-year-old Argentinian stands only 5ft 7in tall but what he lacks in height he makes up for in power. Schwartzman took Novak Djokovic to five sets at the French Open this year.
Round four – Lucas Pouille
If Murray makes the last 16 he could find old rival David Ferrer in his path but Frenchman Pouille is the higher seed. It has been a difficult season for the 23-year-old, who beat Rafael Nadal to make the quarter-finals here last year.
Quarter-finals – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
On paper, the draw was very kind to Murray, and a quarter-final against Tsonga should hold no fears for the Scot. Murray has a famously excellent record against French players having won his last 28 matches at grand slams dating back to an Australian Open loss to Tsonga in 2008.
Semi-finals – Alexander Zverev
Having avoided Federer, Murray’s projected semi-final opponent is German Zverev. Murray won easily the first time they met at the Australian Open last year but 20-year-old Zverev has soared since then and has won five titles this year, albeit without making it past the fourth round of a slam.
Final – Roger Federer
Nadal is the top seed but hard courts favour Federer, who is looking to complete a remarkable year at the slams by winning his third title. The Swiss won in New York for five years in a row between 2004 and 2008, beating Murray the last time, but has not lifted the trophy since.
Murray may have been world number one for eight months but he faces a tough task to regain his place at the top of men’s tennis. He must at least make the semi-finals to stand any chance of challenging Nadal or Federer and should he be joined at that stage by the pair he must then go on to win the title.
Should he reach the semi-final stage – something he has only done once at a major this year – it could be good enough to capture world number one, but he must hope that Nadal suffers a first round exit and Federer fails to go past the quarter-final stage.