New York: British third seed Andy Murray is confident as he prepares to launch his latest US Open campaign on Tuesday despite coach Amelie Mauresmo being absent on maternity leave.
The 28-year-old Scotsman took his fourth title of the season earlier this month at Montreal, adding to a trophy haul that included the Bavarian Championship, Madrid Open and Queen`s.
He beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Montreal final to break an eight-match losing streak to the Serb star over the past two years.
"I feel confident," Murray said. "I`m hitting the ball well. I`ve played as lot of matches so my body is match tight, which is good, and I`ve also played a couple long matches the last few weeks, which is physcially good preparation for here."
Murray, who has a high-profile opener Tuesday against Nick Kyrgios after the Australian bad-boy was sanctioned for comments in a match at Montreal to rival Stan Wawrinka, is being guided by Swede Jonas Bjorkman while France`s Mauresmo is recovering after giving birth.
"Amelie will probably be back, hopefully at Paris at the end of the year," Murray said. "We haven`t really discussed anything yet. It`s just kind of wait and see whether she wants to continue. Things obviously changed for her and it`s really her decision. We`ll sit down and chat in a month or so and see where we are at."
"I haven`t spoken to her for the last couple of weeks. We`ve messaged. When I started working with Amelie we planned on it being a long-term thing and obviously I thought around the majors is where she could help the most, but life is a lot more important than tennis. Jonas is my coach here and he`s doing a very good job so far."
Among the strategies outlined for Murray, who announced earlier this month that his wife was pregnant, were short workout sessions regarding specific areas.
"Like shorter, more specific work because I feel like I`ve done enough work the last few weeks, but I just need to get my game ready for the event," Murray said.It`s a far cry from two years ago when a back injury flared up that led to surgery and a 2014 season spent rebuilding form and confidence, one that produced his first Grand Slam final since the operation at this year`s Australian Open, where Murray lost to Djokovic.
"In the last couple of years I was coming in pretty stressed. I had problems with my back and was struggling to deal with that," Murray said. "I wasn`t enjoying the practice and preparation because I was in pain. I found it difficult. But now I feel healthier, calmer, more relaxed.
"I`ve worked extremely hard to get back where I am. I had a lot of downs last year, a lot of test moments, but I came through that well and kept believing in myself. I`ve done well to get where I`m at and I`ll keep working hard to have a good run here and hopefully put myself in a position to win the event."
Endurance work and match fitness should serve Murray well in an opening week predicted to be hot, although new roof construction has provided more shade and less wind disruption for matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"It`s not as windy on the court any more with the roof," Murray said. "On that court there is a lot of shade, which is probably not a bad thing. It`s meant to be very hot the next week.
"On the outside courts, it`s going to be tough conditions for everyone. Court temperatures get high. I feel like I`ve handled it well at times, but I`ve had some tough ones as well. I`ve had some physical issues here with those conditions so I need to make sure I`m well prepared for it."