Murray, Wawrinka win, but they don't think they're serious contenders

by: Kamakshi Tandon | August 28, 2018

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NEW YORK—Andy Murray's return to Grand Slam play means tennis's Big Five are back together at a tournament for the first time in more than a year, though he and Stanislas Wawrinka say they're still a long way from being back at the top of the game.

The 30-year-old Murray defeated James Duckworth in four sets for his first Grand Slam victory since 2017 Wimbledon. He had underwent hip surgery at the beginning of the season and returned on grass at Queen's Club.

"I was pumped to be back playing in a Slam again. Yeah, I'm happy," he told press, adding that his movement had improved during the contest.

But Murray, who had said he didn't consider himself a title contender coming into the tournament, was sticking to his assessment following the first-round win.

"I don't think anything changes," he said. "I think I'm still just taking it one match at a time. Yeah, I mean, this is the first time I have played four sets in 14 months.

"I would have been able to train and practice a lot more than what I have done. I would have played more matches in the buildup to the tournament. I mean, there's many, many things that I would have wanted to change to be considered a contender."

Wawrinka, who underwent double knee surgery in 2017, has been back longer and played Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer tough at the hard-court Masters events. The 33-year-old then defeated eighth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round for the second straight Grand Slam to reach the second round.

But he also insists he's not aiming for the title at this point.

"I think I'm still far away to put myself there," he said. "[But] the way I'm playing, the way I'm moving like in practice match or in a match, yeah, for sure my level is really high. I know that, and I'm confident with that. 

"But I also have a lot of things, there is a lot of question mark of how my body will be right, how mentally I will be right.”

Like Murray, Wawrinka is concentrating more on building himself back up.

"This year is kind of a transition year. I don't put too much pressure on myself," he said. "I want to really play well, win as much as I can, get better ranking"

Neither Murray nor Wawrinka are in the Top 100 in the rankings.

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