JUDY Murray believes marriage and the prospect of fatherhood have made her son Andy more relaxed on court as the Scot bids to win a second US Open title.
The British No 1 has been handed a blockbuster first-round tie against Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios, who will have to be on his best behaviour in Flushing Meadows while he sits on a suspended 28-day ban and $25,000 fine for insulting comments made towards Stan Wawrinka earlier this month.
Kyrgios is yet to trouble Murray, who has won both their two Grand Slam meetings this year in straight sets, but errant youngsters are set to become a more regular feature in the Scot’s life with news that wife Kim is expecting the couple’s first child in February.
Murray enjoyed a superb run of form after marrying Kim in his home town of Dunblane in April, even acknowledging the fact by scribbling “marriage works!” on a TV camera following victory at the Madrid Open one month later.
“He’s had a really good year so far,” mother Judy said. “He’s relaxed and I think everything that has happened means he has an extra sense of responsibility now that he’s a married man and a dad to be. The results since he got married certainly would prove it’s working for him.
“He’s been moving very well and when he moves well he plays well. It’s something Amélie [Mauresmo] has helped bring back into his game – changes of pace, slice, drop-shots, coming forward more. I’m enjoying watching him playing that kind of tennis again. The key is he’s learning how to become more aggressive at the right time.”
Murray is joined in New York by fellow Britons Aljaz Bedene and James Ward, while Heather Watson and Laura Robson are automatic qualifiers in the women’s draw. Robson opens up against Russian world No 110 Elena Vesnina, as she continues her comeback from a wrist injury which meant 18 months out from January last year.
The 21-year-old has won only two out of eight matches since returning before Wimbledon but showed signs of progress against world No 59 Christina McHale in Connecticut last week, leading the American 6-2, 5-3 before losing in three sets.
“The first thing to say about Laura is obviously we shouldn’t expect too much of her because she’s obviously still on her way back,” said Judy Murray, a Sky Sports analyst at the US Open.
“Vesnina is an experienced player but if Laura finds her hot spot and confidence to finish it off when she gets into a winning position, I think that’s not a bad opener for her.”