Back to drawing board for Murray as U.S. Open approaches

Tue Aug 9, 2011 9:09pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Andy Murray's North American hard court seasons have had blazing starts the last two years winning back-to-back Canadian titles only to see his play cool off at the U.S. Open.

But after watching his title defense come to a shock end with a 6-3 6-1 loss to South African Kevin Anderson on Tuesday at the Montreal Masters, the world number four will employ a little reverse psychology in this year's buildup to Flushing Meadows.

"The last few years I played probably my best tennis here and then at the U.S. Open not played so well," Murray told reporters. "I would still have rather played better today.

"But I'll try and do well in the doubles with (brother) Jamie and then get myself ready for Cincinnati because I'll need to get some matches in for the U.S. Open.

"Obviously that's the goal, is to play my best tennis there (U.S. Open)."

For all his success on the Canadian hard courts, which include two other semi-finals appearances as well as two titles, Murray has been unable to translate it into U.S. Open success losing in the third round last year and the fourth round in 2009.

In 2008, the Briton won the Cincinnati Masters, his final tune-up before heading to New York and advanced to the final before losing to Roger Federer.

After his Montreal meltdown, Murray will be counting a strong performance in Cincinnati next week to once again provide a springboard into the year's final grand slam.   Continued...

<p>Andy Murray of Britain walks off the court following his loss to South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 9, 2011. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi</p>