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I'm swerving US Open to focus on singles: Murray

 

Singles man: Andy Murray has changed his plans
Singles man: Andy Murray has changed his plans

By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray has confirmed he will not be competing in either singles or doubles at this month's US Open.

The former world number one had been scheduled to play doubles in New York.

But he has opted to focus on singles competition elsewhere as he bids to step up his return from the career-saving hip surgery he underwent in January.

"I'm not going to play doubles at the US Open," Murray said.

"My goal is to get back playing at the level that I want to on the singles court, and I've decided that I need to focus all my energies on that right now.

"The US Open, doubles and mixed, can be another couple of weeks that you are slowing things down."

Murray will play in next week's ATP event in Winston-Salem after being given a wild card and will then consider entering a tournament on the Challenger Tour during the US Open, which starts on August 26.

In the Cincinnati Western & Southern Open singles, Roger Federer suffered a shock loss to Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev in the third round.

Rublev, the world number 70, broke Federer three times as he powered to a stunning 6-3 6-4 win in 62 minutes.

The defeat was a blow to 20-time major champion Federer's US Open preparations.

Rublev will now play compatriot Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals after the biggest win of his career.

World number three Federer said afterwards: "He was super clean - defence, offence, serving well. Didn't give me anything. He was everywhere.

"So it was tough for me, but an excellent match by him. I was impressed."

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic beat Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.

Djokovic will next play Lucas Pouille in the quarter-final.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty engineered her second comeback in as many days in Cincinnati with the top seed overhauling Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

Barty has a chance to return to the world number one position she held last week if she reaches tomorrow's final after booking a semi-final spot today against either Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova or Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Barty rallied from a set down in the previous round to defeat Anettt Kontaveit, but the reigning French Open champion is not stressing about the numbers, just concentrating on steady tennis.

"I'm in the semis for the first time here," she said. "I'm not thinking of the ranking at all.

"If I can win matches, the ranking will take care of itself.

"I've had an amazing three years with my team and an amazing season. I'm excited to be in new territory here in Cincinnati."

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