US Open: Former champion Andy Murray pleased with Monday start
Last Updated: 26/08/14 3:33pm
Andy Murray is happy to have a rare early start to his US Open campaign.
The 2012 champion plays his first-round match against Dutchman Robin Haase second on Louis Armstrong court on Monday.
More often than not Murray has had to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday, and 12 months ago he did not begin the defence of his title until the third night session.
Murray said: "I have been here long enough to be used to the conditions and stuff now.
"I think for some guys that are coming in late, playing on the Wednesday may help, but I have had enough time on the courts now to practise and prepare. So to get under way on Monday is good."
The 27-year-old has struggled all through 2014 to regain peak form and fitness following back surgery almost a year ago and is seeded only eighth at the year's final grand slam.
Form remains a concern to his fans if not seemingly to the man himself, but fitness-wise Murray could scarcely be happier.
The back pain that lingered through the first part of the season is in the past and the Scot had time after Wimbledon to put some serious work in at a training camp in Miami.
There have been encouraging signs over the last couple of weeks, with Murray reaching quarter-finals in both Toronto and Cincinnati.
But he would have wanted to go further in both and had chances to do so, failing to capitalise on leads against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer.
That surely betrayed the lack of big match wins Murray has under his belt in 2014 - he has not beaten a top-10 player or reached a final since Wimbledon last year.
He said: "I have been playing well the last few weeks. I lost to guys who won the events, and had quite big opportunities in both those matches. I feel like I'm playing well. This week has been very good preparation. I'm happy."
Murray is not the only British player in action on Monday, with Johanna Konta, a direct entrant into the main draw in New York for the first time, meeting Israel's Shahar Peer.
And Ireland's James McGee makes his grand slam debut against Kazakh Aleksandr Nedovyesov after brilliantly fighting his way through qualifying.
The 27-year-old has spent all of his career until now trying to scrape a living at the lowest level of professional tennis.
He rewarded himself by moving out of his budget apartment and into a boutique hotel in Manhattan, and his parents, sister and many friends are flying over to support him.
"That's a true dream," he said. "I'd visualised it in my own head years ago, seeing my parents watch me at the US Open. To have it manifest into reality is just an amazing thing.
"I'm going to give it absolutely everything I have and hopefully I can get the win."
Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Simona Halep also play their first matches on Monday.
Watch Andy Murray take on Robin Haase live on Sky Sports 3 - Murray is second on Louis Armstrong court.