Andy Murray said he would keep trying to win Grand Slams after crashing out of the US Open second round in straight sets to 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday.
The former world No 1 was demolished by the 20-year-old Canadian 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2hr 8min.
But Murray he said he was pleased with how his metal hip coped in his first Grand Slam outing since the 2019 Australian Open, when there was talk of him retiring.
“I’m more positive about what I can do in Grand Slams before I came over here,” said Murray who rallied to a win thrilling five-set match against Japan’s 49th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round on Tuesday.
The Scotsman is trying to rebuild his career after an injury-ravaged three years, and currently sits 115th in the world rankings.
“I feel like I’m back at square one having not played Slams for a few years,” Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, told reporters.
“I need to build up my body and my physical conditioning so that, you know, I have the ability to back up five-set matches. That takes a bit of time, unfortunately.”
Murray, the 2012 US Open champion, said he was without a physical “robustness” physically and needed to work hard on fine-tuning skills that have lacked serious match practice in 2020.
“I’m ranked 115, 120 in the world and my game reflects that just now. So I’ll need to get better if I want to move up the rankings and be more competitive,” he said.
The 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner, who was renowned for his never-say-die attitude at the peak of his powers, insists he is not ready to throw in the towel yet.
“In terms of winning Grand Slams again, that’s going to be extremely difficult to do. It was hard enough when I had two normal hips. So it will be difficult, but I’ll keep trying.
“Why not? Why shouldn’t I try my hardest to do that? And if I don’t, that’s all right. But I might as well shoot for the stars.
“And if I don’t – yeah, if I don’t get there, then that’s all right. But I’m trying my best to get the most out of what my body gives me now.
He said he would play in the rearranged French Open later this month.
Murray was unable to repeat his first-round heroics against the big-serving 21st-ranked Auger-Aliassime who dominated from start to finish.
The Canadian, who didn’t face a break point, smashed 24 aces and 52 winners in a one-sided affair. Murray mustered just two aces and nine winners.
“He’s a big guy. He takes the ball on. There’s obviously fairly quick conditions here, as well.
“Maybe served a little bit better tonight than he had in the last couple of weeks, which helped.
Felix Auger-Aliassime amassed 97 winning points compared to Murray’s 68.
Results from day four of the US Open tennis championship at Flushing Meadows on Thursday (x-denotes seed):
Matteo Berrettini (ITA x6) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Casper Ruud (NOR x30) bt Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-4, 6-3, 3-2 retired
Salvatore Caruso (ITA) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
Andrey Rublev (RUS x10) bt Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x14) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt John Millman (AUS) 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Jeffrey Wolf (USA) bt Roberto Carballes (ESP) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
Daniil Medvedev (RUS x3) bt Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Roberto Bautista (ESP x8) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x25) 6-7 (1/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Alex De Minaur (AUS x21) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5
Karen Khachanov (RUS x11) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-1
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x15) bt Andy Murray (GBR) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO x31) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5
Dominic Thiem (AUT x2) bt Sumit Nagal (IND) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Madison Keys (USA x7) bt Aliona Bolsova (ESP) 6-2, 6-1
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Donna Vekic (CRO x18) bt Patricia Tig (ROU) 6-2, 6-1
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x10) 7-5, 6-3
Maria Sakkari (GRE x15) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Amanda Anisimova (USA x22) bt Katrina Scott (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA x26) bt Olga Govortsova (BLR) 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA x3) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-2, 6-4
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x5) 6-1, 6-3
Karolina Muchova (CZE x20) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x9) 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Ons Jabeur (TUN x27) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 7-6 (10/8), 6-0
Sofia Kenin (USA x2) bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4, 6-3