For the first time since his second round defeat to Fernando Verdasco in 2018 the former US Open Champion Andy Murray will be back playing the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Yoshihito Nishioka will provide a stern test for Murray, I really like what Nishioka brings to the court and I see him being a consistent top thirty ranked player over the next year or so but is just inside the top 50 at a career high right now.
Andy has come through some big tests in Cincinnati against Tiafoe and Zverev prior to the US Open but it will be a different battle for Andy.
Not only has he not played Nishioka before but it will be his first time he has played a best of five set match in over 18 months and just his fourth in three years.
Nishioka is quite infectious on the court, I love his energy and he always is positive and doesn’t back down.
He is left handed and will be looking to force Murray into a defensive position but it will be important for the former British number one to get that backhand into play a little bit more at the US Open and dictate the rhythm against a tricky left handed player.
I liked a lot of what Andy did in Cincinnati but the test will be if it goes over three sets and how he deals with that. He has incredible experience behind him and we’ve seen that this last week. Despite almost a year without an ATP match the level he showed was incredible.
Despite the Brit being such a good mover around the baseline he has to look for Nishioka’s backhand and hit deep into it. I watched Yoshihito against Djokovic in Melbourne and Novak did it so well, the only issues Novak faced were when he managed open the court with his scoping forehand.