'I'll tough it out if I need to' – Murray on playing at the US Open, Instagram and Slovenian bees
|2018 US Open|
|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website|
Andy Murray is set to make his return to Grand Slam tennis at the US Open on Monday – his first Grand Slam appearance in 14 months after a hip injury led to surgery. In his regular BBC Sport column, the 31-year-old Scot talks about why the US Open is special to him, where he hangs out in New York during the tournament and becoming an Instagram ‘sensation’…
Playing at the US Open holds a special place in my heart and I’m pleased to be making my Grand Slam return here.
I still wish I was able to play at Wimbledon and not have to pull out on the eve of the tournament, but it is nice to be playing my first Slam in 14 months here in New York.
I enjoy the tournament because of the energy. When I was younger I used to love coming to visit the city and the tournament itself is very different to the other Slams.
It has an amazing energy, it is a great place to play, I love the centre court and having played my first Grand Slam final here, and then winning my first Grand Slam here, I have some great memories.
My family came over to New York a few days ago, so I hadn’t seen them for three or four weeks.
Obviously the kids change a lot in that time, which is nice in some ways to see after a period because you’ve changed a bit, but also sad that maybe you’ve missed some stuff.
That was the best part about being injured, or the only good part about being injured, was I got to spend lots and lots of time with them growing up. That’s been nice.
I’m happy they’re here. We went to Central Park with Amelie Mauresmo and her kids which was nice. And we’ve got friends here with their children so you just find family-friendly things to do.
There is plenty going on in New York!
‘Posting on Instagram is fun and stops misinterpretation’
Recently I’ve been posting a lot on Instagram while I’ve been training in the States – videos of me and Nick Kyrgios on a rollercoaster, pictures of old haircuts and answering some ‘interesting’ questions from fans…
It is fun and something I enjoy.
I used to post on Twitter a lot, then stopped using it so much. I’m a very visual person myself and there is a bit less abuse on Instagram!
After beating Marius Copil in Washington, I put on a post with a caption saying ‘Boring, miserable, no personality’ – it was just something fun and not because I’m trying to change public perception of me.
That’s something I was branded as from a very young age just because in interviews I didn’t give much away.
I remember the very first time I played at Wimbledon people were saying ‘he’s absolutely brilliant, he’s a fresh of breath air, he says what he thinks, so different to Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman’.
Then I learned very quickly that all it takes is a couple of comments and a couple of jokes that get taken the wrong way.
Posting things from your own Instagram account is something that you’re ultimately able to control more than how someone interprets your words in an article.
‘UN visit was really cool’
As a long-time Unicef ambassador, I went to the offices here in New York which are next to the UN headquarters.
I had a tour of the Unicef building and met the team who co-ordinate the emergency response when disasters or war strikes around the world. They do an amazing job and are responsible for getting aid and relief to families and children in need.
We then walked over to the UN building, where most of the world leaders regularly gather.
It was interesting. One of the security guards showing us around had some funny stories but I’m not sure I am allowed tell them!
There are lots of artefacts around the grounds, which is considered to be on international territory even though it’s in the US, as all of the member states have donated something.
There is a piece of the Berlin Wall there from Germany, Slovenia had donated Slovenian bees so they have beehives in the garden, and all sorts of other things from the different nations.
‘Playing five-set matches again is positive – whatever happens’
Having not played a five-set match for a long time, I won’t know how my body will cope with that until I actually get there and do it.
I’m sure I’ll be able to tough it out if I need to – but it might not be particularly comfortable.
That’s something I will find out if I’m in that situation.
It is important for me to go through that and see exactly where I’m at, to see how I feel after playing an extremely long match.
That will inform what I do over the next few months as well, maybe show I need to adjust things building up to Australia next year.
I’m glad to be back competing in a Slam and it’s going to be positive for me putting myself in that position again.
Andy Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko