sport

Murray set for Bachinger

Andy Murray will hope to avoid any drama when he meets little-known German qualifier Matthias Bachinger in the second round of the US Open.

After the cramp that so badly affected him against Robin Haase on Monday, Murray will no doubt be happy to be playing in the relative cool of the night session on Thursday.

The Scot arrived in New York in a positive frame of mind and declared himself in his best shape since winning Wimbledon last year following a training camp in Miami.

After 18 months of back problems followed by surgery and then the lengthy process of getting back to full fitness, it has been a long time since Murray felt at the peak of health on the court.

He thought that would be the case in his first-round match against Haase, only for cramp to come on at the start of the third set and very nearly end his tournament.

Murray dismissed nerves as a cause and has instead been focusing on what he ate and drunk in the build-up to the match.

But it would not be surprising if Murray had been tense considering he has been unable to get back to his best form since his surgery almost a year ago.

Roger Federer endured his own back problems last season, although did not need surgery, and found his mind took longer to heal than his body.

Murray can empathise, saying: "I think if you have a physical issue that's hampering you, it's very easy for that to take over your thinking when you're on the court.

"It's frustrating to not be able to do the things that you want your body to do and that distracts you from what you should be doing on the court, which is trying to beat your opponent, not how you have to move to your backhand side or your forehand side or whatever the issue is.

"I feel like I'm playing pretty good tennis and hopefully results will be not too far behind."

The eighth seed hit with good friend Ross Hutchins on Wednesday, again choosing to practice in the heat of the day.

He has never played Bachinger before in a professional match, although their paths crossed in the junior ranks.

The German world number 235 only found out he had got into qualifying last Monday when he was back home in Munich but won three matches in three days after flying to New York and then beat Radek Stepanek for his first ever grand slam main draw victory.

Bachinger, who lost to Britain's James Ward in qualifying here last year, has not dropped more than three games in any set so far.

Watch Murray v Bachinger live on Sky Sports 3 HD from midnight on Thursday night