Former champion Andy Murray has revealed he regrets not asking for a place in the US Open qualifiers.
The Scot, who took the title at Flushing Meadows in 2012 by beating Novak Djokovic, turned down a place in the main draw because of concern over how he would handle a five-set match.
The offer of a wildcard was tempting for Murray, who is carefully managing his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and has largely focused on doubles matches so far.
Murray, 32, wanted to prove he could be competitive in singles before accepting such an invitation.
He lost 6-4 6-4 to France’s Richard Gasquet on his singles return on Monday in Cincinnati and had already told US Open organisers he would not be taking up their invitation.
The Gasquet match was Murray’s first in singles since the Australian Open in January when his career looked to be in jeopardy.
By Tuesday, Murray had realised he had overlooked an ideal opportunity to prove his match fitness in New York, with three best-of-three sets qualifying matches for the grand slam event likely to have proven a perfect test of the state of his game.
He told BBC Sport: “I don’t know why we didn’t really think of it, but it just never crossed my mind until this morning.
“When I woke up, I was like – I want to play three-set matches. I could maybe test myself there, and if I got through qualifying that might show that I’m ready to play there. But too late, unfortunately.”
Murray and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez notched a doubles win at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, beating Romanian Horia Tecau and Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer 3-6 6-3 10-3 in the first round.