Venus Williams’ 24th US Open was brought to an abrupt end inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday night.

The two-time winner, handed a wild card at the age of 43, was beaten 6-1 6-1 in the first round by Belgian Greet Minnen.

The American said: “I have to give credit to my opponent, there wasn’t a shot she couldn’t make.

“I don’t think I played badly, it was just one of those days where I was unlucky.

“I was really happy to be here. I love playing here and I really gave it my all today.”

Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur had to overcome breathing difficulties to battle past Columbia’s Camila Osorio.

The Tunisian had her blood pressure checked at one point before securing a 7-5 7-6 (4) victory.

France’s Caroline Garcia, seeded seven, suffered a shock exit, 6-4 6-1, to world number 114 Wang Yafan of China.

Canadian Laylah Fernandez, the runner-up to Emma Raducanu two years ago, lost in three sets to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Andy Murray won his 200th grand slam match with a three-set victory over fiery Frenchman Corentin Moutet at the US Open.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, a winner here in 2012, overcame an unorthodox and awkward opponent 6-2 7-5 6-3 to become the eighth male player in the Open era to reach the double-century.

It may have been a straight-sets win but, typically with Murray, there was plenty of drama and even a VAR controversy, the first of its kind at Flushing Meadows.

Murray, who came into the event having recovered from an abdominal tear, dominated the first set but a flat passage of play saw him fall a break down in the second as Moutet, all slices and drop shots, began to impose himself.

However, Murray had a let-off when Moutet double-faulted on set point, and then a lucky net cord helped the Scot break back.

Murray was back in full irritant mode and it got to Moutet, who smashed his racket on the floor, twice, as the second set got away from him.

Moutet suffered a nasty fall on the baseline, landing on his racket hand, but was able to continue and saved four break points in his next service game.

But Murray struck at the next opportunity and served out for victory – following a video replay check for a double-bounce which, embarrassingly for organisers who introduced it this year, proved inconclusive – in just under three hours.

“He’s one of the most skilful players on the tour, with so many ways to disrupt you, and he always causes a little bit of chaos,” said the 36-year-old.

“I hope it was entertaining, there were some fun points, so I’m happy to get through in straight sets.

“It was a long one, but the way we play it was probably always going to be like that. Three hours is a lot shorter than some of my matches!”

Andy Murray has become the eighth man to register 200 grand slam victories in the Open era.

The 36-year-old reached the milestone following his latest win over France’s Corentin Moutet in the US Open first round.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at Murray’s career record at tennis’s biggest tournaments.

Elite club

Murray has joined an illustrious list by reaching 200 grand slam wins, headed by his three main career rivals in Roger Federer (369), Novak Djokovic (355) and Rafael Nadal (314).

That trio are more than 80 wins clear of anyone else, with Jimmy Connors in fourth (233), ahead of Andre Agassi (224) and Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl (222).

The Scot is just three wins behind Pete Sampras (203) in seventh and will move above the 14-time major champion with a run to the quarter-finals at the US Open.

Tim Henman is his closest challenger among British players, with 98 grand slam victories.

Home comforts

Murray has been most successful on the grass courts of Wimbledon, with 61 wins out of 74 matches yielding two titles.

He has consistently risen to the occasion on home soil, reaching 10 successive SW19 quarter-finals between 2008 and 2017, and has often spoken about how he enjoys the support of the crowd.

However, the 36-year-old also thrives when playing the role of pantomime villain and has a remarkable record of 18 victories from 19 matches against homegrown players in the Australian, French and US Opens.

Overall, he has 49 victories in New York – the scene of his first major triumph in 2012 – to go with 51 in Melbourne (where he is a five-time runner-up) and 39 at Roland Garros.

Near misses

Murray’s career record at grand slams suggests that he should have more than three titles to his name.

He has a winning record at each stage of major tournaments apart from the final, where he has won three and lost eight of his 11 matches.

Murray has had the privilege and misfortune of playing in a golden era of men’s tennis, with all but one of his finals having been played against Federer or Djokovic.

In total, he has won five and lost 20 of his grand slam meetings with the ‘Big Three’, with eight defeats coming against Djokovic, seven versus Nadal and five at the hands of Federer.

This compares with 195 wins and 34 losses against his remaining 137 opponents.

Stan Wawrinka, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fernando Verdasco and Roberto Bautista Agut are the only other players to have beaten Murray more than once at grand slam level.

The Scot’s best record is against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who he has faced five times without defeat.

Injury nightmare

Murray would almost certainly have passed 250 grand slam wins had it not been for a career threatening hip injury.

Shortly after turning 30, Murray – ranked number one in the world at the time – lost to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2017 and proceeded to sit out the next four grand slams while recovering from surgery.

He had won at least 12 grand slam matches every year in the previous decade, but has managed only 12 in total since the start of 2018.

By comparison, Djokovic – who is just a week younger than Murray – has won 118 matches and lifted 11 titles in the same period.

Despite injury curtailing his prime years, the Scot has continued to show his indomitable fighting spirit.

Eight of his 23 major matches since 2018 have gone to five sets, with Murray emerging victorious on five of those occasions.

Two of his deciding-set wins came back-to-back at this year’s Australian Open, when he followed up a four-hour 49-minute victory over Matteo Berrettini with a staggering comeback from two sets down against Thanasi Kokkinakis in a match that finished at 4am local time.

Cameron Norrie turned to defending champion Carlos Alcaraz to help him into the second round at the US Open.

The British number one practised with the world number one on Monday before dismantling Alexander Shevchenko of Russia 6-3 6-2 6-2.

It was just the sort of performance Norrie needed after losing his previous three matches on the hard courts.

And the 16th seed credited Spanish superstar Alcaraz for his improved display.

“We had a really good practice and I think it really set the tone yesterday and I was able to put it into my match today,” he said.

“He’s always enjoying the practice and bringing a lot of flair and excitement to the practice court.

“It was not an easy match. Shevchenko has had a good year so far. I know his game quite well, I’d practiced with him a few times.

“I was able to play longer points and win some of the tough games. It was a nice match to play in the first round to get a lot of rhythm.”

Norrie will face qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu, the world number 237, in round two after his surprise win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Katie Boulter says she is feeling the love in New York after securing a first-career win at the US Open.

The British number one certainly looked at home on a packed Court Six at Flushing Meadows as she raced past France’s Diane Parry 6-4 6-0.

Boulter hit 31 winners and illustrated her confidence on the big stage by saving a break point as she served for the match, before finishing Parry off with a 106mph ace.

“I felt the love out there today, which was really, really nice,” said the 27-year-old.

“It was such a good atmosphere. What I love about it the most is those front courts where they have all the matches going along all the time.

“It’s a challenge for me to focus and stay in the moment, and not hear all the other courts going on, which is what I did unbelievably well today.

“The fans got me over the line. I don’t know if they were British, American. I think they were everything, which was super nice.

“There were a lot of GB flags, which made me feel very at home, which was very nice.

“I did appreciate it out there. You know, it’s when you hear, like, little kids screaming your name, that’s when it pushes you. It makes you think for a second, ‘hey, this is where I want to be and these are the matches that I want to play’.”

Novak Djokovic secured a return to the world number one spot with a near flawless late-night performance at the US Open.

The 36-year-old Serbian, who missed last year’s tournament due to not being vaccinated against Covid, swept past France’s Alexandre Muller 6-0 6-2 6-3.

Flushing Meadows hosted a tribute to former former champion and equality campaigner Billie Jean King, celebrating 50 years since the US Open offered equal prize money to men and women with Michelle Obama making a speech, before Djokovic took to the court at 11pm local time.

He said: “Well, I knew it was going to be a late night for me, a late start of the match.

“Nevertheless, I was excited to go out on the court. I didn’t care if I started after midnight because I was looking forward to this moment for few years, to be out on the biggest stadium in our sport, the loudest stadium in our sport, playing night session.

“It was a special night, they had a ceremony. It took longer than I would probably have wanted but was a great joy to be stepping out on the court.

“I think the performance explains how I felt, particularly in the first two sets. It was kind of lights-out tennis really, almost flawless, perfect first set.

“I probably had the answer for every shot he had in his book. Overall I’m very, very pleased with the way I feel, with the way I’m playing. Hopefully I can maintain that level. It’s just the beginning of the tournament, but I already like the level of tennis.”

Djokovic will replace reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the rankings following the US Open. It will be the seventh time the number one spot has changed hands this year.

Novak Djokovic is back at world number one after beating Alexandre Muller in straight sets and Iga Swiatek began her title defence by dropping only one game against Rebecca Peterson.

Britain’s Lily Miyazaki made a mark on her Flushing Meadows debut to reach round two.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day one at the US Open.

Pic of the day

Former first lady Michelle Obama joined a ceremony to honour former champion and equality campaigner Billie Jean King, and celebrate 50 years since the US Open offered equal prize money to men and women.

Match of the day

Coco Gauff came from a set down in a thriller under the lights on Arthur Ashe against German qualifier Laura Siegemund. The American teenager, seeded sixth, eventually came through 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Shock of the day

Holger Rune tweeted a map of the Flushing Meadows site to highlight his frustration at being shoved out on Court Five. The Danish fourth seed’s irritation was clear as he slumped to a four-set defeat to Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.

Stench of the day

It’s a hard court, not grass, but eighth seed Maria Sakkari complained to the umpire about the smell of “weed” wafting through the air during her surprise defeat by Rebeka Masarova.

Brit watch

Lily Miyazaki branded her US Open debut “surreal” after winning her first match at a grand slam.

There were echoes of Emma Raducanu after the 27-year-old qualifier, Britain’s sole representative on day one, beat Russian Margarita Betova 6-3 6-3.

“It’s huge for me, I think,” said Miyazaki. “Qualifying was also, like, obviously a huge confidence booster, but winning at the main draw, it just feels a bit surreal.”

The world number 199 may be unlikely to emulate Raducanu’s fairy-tale title win two years ago, but she still secured a near-£100,000 pay day and a high-profile second-round match against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

Fallen seeds

Women: Maria Sakkari (8), Veronika Kudermetova (16), Anhalina Kalinina (28), Elisabetta Cocciaretto (29).

Men: Holger Rune (4), Felix Auger-Aliassime (15), Lorenzo Musetti (18), Alexander Bublik (25), Sebastian Korda (31).

Who’s up next?

Day two sees the other six British hopefuls begin their campaigns. Former champion Andy Murray will be on the Grandstand Court against Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper, Jodie Burrage and Katie Boulter are also in action along with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.

Coco Gauff battled from a set down under the lights as the US Open served up a thriller on opening night.

American hope Gauff, the sixth seed, was left frazzled by qualifier Laura Siegemund’s incredible anticipation and volleying in the first set.

But the match swung after an epic 26-minute first game of the second set, a minute longer than Iga Swiatek had taken to win her first set against Rebecca Peterson.

In front of the watching former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, Gauff went toe-to-toe with the German at the net and finally converted a break point at the eighth attempt.

The pair slugged it out with some stunning rallies, firing volley after volley at each other in a match more akin to doubles than singles.

A niggly encounter boiled over when Gauff, tiring of the type of delaying tactics from Siegemund which would have had Premier League referees’ chief Howard Webb in a lather, raged at chair umpire Marijana Veljovic.

The youngster could barely contain her delight when Veljovic deducted Siegemund a point for not being ready to receive, giving Gauff a 5-1 lead in the decider.

“Slow!” was Gauff’s verdict on the match after closing out a 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory in two hours and 51 minutes.

“I mean it was a tough match,” she added. “I wasn’t playing my best tennis and Laura fights to the end. I managed to overcome some adversity so I’m happy to get through.”

Gauff will play another teenager, 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, in round two.

World number one Swiatek had earlier helped herself to a New York bagel to get her title defence off to the perfect start.

The 22-year-old from Poland dropped just eight points as she took the first set to love against Rebecca Peterson.

Sweden’s Peterson did get on the board early in the second but Swiatek, bidding for a fifth grand-slam title, completed a comprehensive 6-0 6-1 victory in just 58 minutes.

“I really wanted to play solid and start the tournament with everything I practised on,” she said.

“I’m happy to play such a great game and despite all the pressure and expectation I can still have fun on the court.”

There was an upset on day one at Flushing Meadows with eighth seed Maria Sakkari from Greece bowing out 6-4 6-4 to Spanish world number 71 Rebeka Masarova.

Fourth seed Elena Rybakina, last year’s Wimbledon champion, had no such trouble, dispatching Marta Kostyuk 6-2 6-1.

Victoria Azarenka, a three-time finalist, beat Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2 and Czech 10th seed Karolina Muchova sank Storm Hunter of Australia 6-4 6-0.

Lily Miyazaki branded her US Open debut “surreal” after winning her first match at a grand slam.

There were echoes of Emma Raducanu after the 27-year-old qualifier, Britain’s sole representative on day one, beat Russian Margarita Betova 6-3 6-3.

“It’s huge for me, I think,” said Miyazaki. “Qualifying was also, like, obviously a huge confidence booster, but yeah, winning at the main draw is, it just feels a bit surreal.”

The world number 199 may be unlikely to emulate Raducanu’s fairy-tale title win two years ago, but she still secured a near-£100,000 pay day and a high-profile second-round match against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

“I mean, what Emma did was incredible,” added Miyazaki. “I’m not sure where I was. I think I was at a tournament. I don’t know, a 25K in Portugal or something.

“Obviously all the players were following her results, and it was incredible the way she played.

“I don’t know her too well, but I have hit with her a few times at the National Tennis Centre. Yeah, I think what she did inspired a lot of people.”

While the other six British players in the main draw had the day off, Miyazaki took on the experienced Betova, who was playing under a protected ranking after coming back from having a child.

Miyazaki, who moved to London aged 10 but only changed allegiance from Japan last year, overcame an early break and won six games in a row to take control before winning with her second match point.

Miyazaki joked that she had watched 15th seed Bencic far more than the Swiss will have watched her.

She added: “Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. She’s a great player obviously.

“It’s actually funny, when I lived in Switzerland, I played her when I was about nine years old and she must have been about seven or eight.

“I remember even back then she was taking the ball so early. Half volleying, drive volleying, everything. Yeah, I expect a really tough match.”

Maths whizz Lily Miyazaki feels like her number has finally come up after qualifying for the US Open.

The Tokyo-born Brit had a wild card for Wimbledon last year, but has now reached the main draw of a grand slam under her own steam for the first time.

Miyazaki, who earned a masters degree in mathematical science in the United States four years ago, beat Slovakia’s Viktoria Hruncakova in the final round of qualifying at Flushing Meadows.

The 27-year-old now has to solve the puzzle of how to get past Russian Margarita Betova on Monday for a first grand slam match win.

“Playing Wimbledon last year was amazing,” said Miyazaki. “But I think that, as a wild card, I don’t know how to explain it, but I don’t know if you truly believe like you belong.

“And I played Caroline Garcia, obviously she’s a pretty good player and I was really nervous going into that match. So hopefully this time I feel like I belong here. So that experience definitely helped me.”

Miyazaki joins Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage as the British contingent in the women’s draw.

She also shares a coach, Craig Veal, with British number two Burrage, who was in the stands supporting her compatriot.

“For her to qualify, it was killing me,” said Burrage, 24. “When she was one-set all, I had to go to practice and throughout it I was shouting at my physio asking what the score was.

“I was hardly focusing on my practice because I wanted to be there watching her, but it’s so good she has qualified, with me and ‘Boults’ being in the main draw.

“It’s nice when you are friends and you can enjoy success with them and hopefully next week we can do some damage in the main draw. We’ve all got the games to be able to.”

Burrage faces Russian Anna Blinkova on Tuesday, while British number one Boulter meets France’s Diane Parry.

Novak Djokovic has had his fair share of rivalries over his career but says the latest, with Carlos Alcaraz, is bringing the very best out of him.

Djokovic begins his quest for a 24th grand slam title at the US Open on Monday having already eclipsed the totals of his illustrious peers, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

But the man likely to be standing in his way is Alcaraz, the defending champion who beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last month.

Djokovic got a measure of revenge when he outlasted the 20-year-old Spaniard in a near four-hour final in Cincinnati a week ago.

The duo may be at the opposite end of their careers but they have already built a rivalry which looks set to endure for as long as Djokovic, 36, continues to pick up a racket.

“He’s always pushing me to the limit,” said the Serbian. “I think I do to him pretty much the same thing. That’s why we produced a memorable final.

“It was one of the best, most exciting, and most difficult finals I was ever part of in best-of-three, no doubt, throughout my career.

“That’s why I fell on the ground after I won the match because it felt like winning a grand slam, to be honest. The amount of exchanges and rallies. It was physically so demanding and gruelling that I felt very exhausted for the next few days.

“Those are kind of the moments in matches that I still push myself on a daily basis, day in and day out, practice, sacrifice, commitment. At 36, I still have the drive.”

If Djokovic wins his first-round match, against Frenchman Alexandre Muller, he will overtake Alcaraz to become world number one again.

Alcaraz, the top seed, starts his campaign on Tuesday against Dominik Koepfer of Germany.

Iga Swiatek opens proceedings on Monday against Rebecca Peterson of Sweden as she bids to defend the title she won last year.

“On one hand you always want to kind of take experience from last year, find all these positive things that happened, take strength from that,” said the world number one from Poland.

“On the other hand you have to remember that it’s a totally different story. A lot can happen during like these 12 months.

“So I try to take everything step by step, not really go forward with my thoughts, think that I need to do something more because last year I won.”

Andy Murray is confident the injury which interrupted his US Open preparations has cleared up just in time for the main event.

The three-time grand slam winner, champion at Flushing Meadows in 2012, had to withdraw from this year’s warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Murray, 36, was unable to serve in practice until this week due to what he revealed turned out to be a torn abdominal muscle.

“The first five or six days were a bit complicated. There were lots of different opinions,” said the Scot.

“It is quite a difficult place to scan, the ab, so we weren’t really sure the first few days. And then I came to New York pretty early and went to one of the hospitals here and had the radiologist from back home who looks at my scans check them.

“I had a small tear, which is healing. And the last five or six days of practice have been really good. I have not had any issues serving.

“It is just obviously that you don’t take a week off from serving then go full into it. You need to build up a little bit. It has not been perfect in that sense but my ab has been OK.”

Murray begins his latest New York campaign against Corentin Moutet, the world number 71 from France, on Tuesday.

If he comes through that, a tasty second-round meeting with Bulgaria’s 19th seed Grigor Dimitrov is on the cards.

There will be seven Brits in the main draw after Lily Miyazaki came through qualifying.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Tokyo, beat Viktoria Hruncakova of Slovakia in three sets, 6-3 4-6 6-4.

It will be Miyazaki second appearance at a grand slam after she received a wild card for last year’s Wimbledon.

But Liam Broady was unable to join Murray, Miyazaki, Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper, Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage in the main draw after losing in the final round of qualifying to Sho Shimabukuro of Japan, 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Novak Djokovic, back after missing last year’s US Open due to his vaccination status, is in action on Monday night against France’s Alexander Muller on Arthur Ashe.

The 23-time grand slam winner can take over from US Open and Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the men’s rankings just by winning his first-round match.

Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek, the reigning champion, opens proceedings on Ashe against Rebecca Peterson of Sweden.

Meanwhile Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 winner, has withdrawn from the tournament due to an injury.

The final grand slam of the year gets under way in New York on Monday.

Emma Raducanu remains sidelined but six British players have secured their spots in the main singles draws by ranking.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the home contingent.

Cameron Norrie


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cameron Norrie (@norriee)


After a brilliant start to the season, Norrie has found himself in something of a trough. The solidity that has formed the basis of his superb last two seasons is no longer quite there and the 27-year-old arrives in New York having lost his last four matches dating back to the first round of Wimbledon. He remains a top-20 player and possesses huge self belief but he will have his work cut out to match last year’s run to the fourth round.

Dan Evans

It has also been a tricky last few months for Evans, who has lost his opening match in eight of his last nine tour-level events. The one time he made it through, though, in Washington earlier this month, he went on to claim the biggest title of his career. The 33-year-old will again be seeded and has a very good record at Flushing Meadows, having reached the third round four times and the fourth round once.

Andy Murray

The 36-year-old is having his best season since hip surgery and has proved consistently that he can compete against the world’s best again, although getting over the line has been another matter. His agonising second-round loss against Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon clearly hurt but the desire to be a factor once again on the biggest stage still burns bright. An untimely abdominal injury has left him in a race to be fully fit for the US Open.

Jack Draper


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jack Draper (@jackdraper)

When Draper stunned Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows last year, it seemed his career was about to take off, but frustratingly injuries have been a constant thorn since and his ranking has dropped back outside the top 100. There is no doubt it will climb quickly again if the powerful 21-year-old can just stay fit for a period of time. A shoulder injury suffered at the French Open that ruled him out of the grass was his latest issue, however, he retired after losing the first set in the second round of the Winston-Salem Open on Tuesday, which is a concern. He is a dangerous floater in the draw, if he is fully fit.


Katie Boulter

After the low of no direct British entrants for the women’s singles at the French Open and Wimbledon, it is good to see Boulter and Jodie Burrage in the main draw by right. Boulter has propelled herself to a career-high ranking of 60 after four years spent trying to make it back into the top 100 after injury. The 27-year-old shone on grass, winning her first WTA Tour title in Nottingham and reaching the third round at Wimbledon. She qualified in New York in 2021 but is yet to win a main draw match.

Jodie Burrage


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jodie Burrage (@jodie_burrage)

Beaten by Boulter in the final in Nottingham, Burrage has joined her in the top 100 and in the main draw at Flushing Meadows, where she will make her grand slam debut on foreign soil. It has been a breakthrough season for the 24-year-old, who is another player to struggle with injuries during her career. Burrage has proved her competitive mettle in 2023 with several narrow victories, beating 10 top-100 opponents along the way.


Elina Svitolina's return to the WTA Tour has been nothing short of "extraordinary" following her break to become a mother, believes Marion Bartoli.

The former world number three took a break from tennis last year in order to have her first child, who was born in October.

Since making her return this year however, she has shown no signs of rust, winning the Strasbourg Open before a quarter-final finish at the French Open and a last-four appearance at Wimbledon.

With a rich vein of form behind her, Svitolina looks in contention for the season-ending WTA Finals later this year and Wimbledon champion Bartoli has been left impressed by her comeback.

"All I know is you [disturb] your sleeping pattern because your baby's waking up during the night [and] then of course you're a lot more tired during the day when you have to go through your training," she told Stats Perform.

"Obviously, your body's changing through pregnancy as well. To find her athleticism again and get yourself into shape, she has done it so quickly.

"She was so fit at Roland Garros [and] she was I thought even fitter at Wimbledon. For me, it's just really extraordinary to see her physically that fit and that match ready so soon.

"I would not be surprised to see her do extremely well in the US Open and actually qualify [for the WTA Finals]. I will not be surprised at all to see her ending up in the top eight at the end of this year."

Svitolina's form comes amid a wide-open tour where several of the world's best players are jockeying for success, while returns to the court for Naomi Osaka and Caroline Wozniacki have also caught headlines.

Bartoli believes it is an exciting time to follow the game, adding: "I think we are in for a great WTA Tour. We have the comeback [from] Naomi Osaka, we have the comeback of Caroline Wozniacki, which is really exciting.

"Victoria [Azarenka] [came back] super strong after pregnancy as well, and Ons Jabeur, she was so close to winning a grand slam. You have the feeling that it's not going to take too long before she wins her first.

"I think we have a lot of stories to tell. If those girls can stay on top, I think we're in for a good one."

Rory McIlroy is confident he will bear no mental scars from his latest near-miss in a major championship as he prepares to return to the scene of his Open triumph.

McIlroy held a share of the lead when he birdied the first hole in the final round of last month’s US Open, but failed to make another and finished a shot behind American Wyndham Clark at Los Angeles Country Club.

The 34-year-old has now recorded 19 top-10 finishes since winning the last of his four major titles in the 2014 US PGA, a month after also winning the Open at this year’s venue of Royal Liverpool.

McIlroy declined to speak to the written press ahead of this week’s £7million Genesis Scottish Open, but gave two short television interviews in which he would only speak about on-course matters.

Asked if there were any mental scars from the US Open, McIlroy said: “I don’t think so.

“The one nice thing about the US Open a few weeks ago is I had to play golf the week after. Well, I didn’t have to, but it was nice to play the week after at the Travelers because then you’re not really dwelling on it, right.

“You have to get right back in the saddle and go all over again. There has not been much dwelling on anything.

“I was really happy with my performance (in Los Angeles). I thought I stuck to my game plan really well. I know my game is in good shape so, I’m excited about that.

“I’m as close as I’ve ever been (to winning), really. My consistency in performances, especially in the majors over the last couple years, is way better than it has been over the last few years.

“Having had a really good chance at St Andrews last year, having a really good chance in LA a few weeks ago, I need to keep putting myself in those positions obviously and the more times I go through them, even though I’m not getting the wins, it’s going to stand by me for whenever I get myself in that position again.”

McIlroy was bullish about his chances of winning the Masters in April to complete the career grand slam only to miss the cut at Augusta, but feels he has learnt from that experience.

“I felt like my game was in really good shape, I didn’t produce what I needed to produce the first two days and that was disappointing,” he said.

“I think I learned a lot from that and just about playing a golf tournament…72 holes is a long time. A lot can happen. It’s a journey to get yourself into contention and to be there on Sunday afternoon and there’s a lot of golf shots to be hit and a lot of golf to be played.

“The worst thing you can do in this game is get ahead of yourself.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.