Andy Murray, after his five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round of the US Open, believes he needs to clock up a series of matches to get his body used to playing again following his hip replacement operations in 2017 and 2019 and, to that end, has chosen to compete on the Challenger circuit where he was back in action at Rennes this week.
“Obviously I would like to try and win the event,” said the Scot who on Monday beat German Yannick Maden 6-3 6-1, in his opening match.
“Most importantly, for me, is just to get matches. I want to keep playing, competing and get my body used to playing two, three, four matches in a week again.
“One of the goals between now and the end of the year is to try and make a big improvement with my ranking, and to do that, I need to be competing often,” said the 34-year-old who has slipped to 116 in the rankings.
“I still feel like I can play a very high level but if all of the time when I go to the big tournaments I play top players right at the beginning of the event, it’s not so easy”.
“The Challengers often have good players. We have three guys that have been in the top 10. That’s quite rare. There should be some good matches, and it’s nice for the crowd to come out and watch the French players,” the former world number one said.
Unfortunately his trip to Rennes was a short one as he was beaten in the last-16 by the 158th-ranked Roman Safiullin of Russia, 6-2 4-6 6-1.