At the age of 36, Andy Murray has learned how to put things in perspective, shaking off difficult defeats.

But as he begins his 17th US Open campaign this week, he is still searching for improvement, still asking himself difficult questions in an effort to get the absolute best out of his body and mind.

When Murray lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling battle at Wimbledon earlier this summer, he was understandably down in his press conference, openly wondering aloud if he’ll be back next year.

But after a few days of rest, taking himself away from the game, Murray was immediately looking forward, thinking of new ways to improve and get himself back on track, better than ever as he continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible for a man with a metal hip.

“I went away on holiday straight afterwards, for six days,” Murray said. “Always immediately after matches, especially at Wimbledon and at majors, there's greater disappointment and greater emotions than at any other time in the year.

“Probably after three or four days of being away from it, I chatted to my team about things that I feel I need to change, certain shots in my game, if I wanted to win more of those matches and dictate more of those matches. So I did that, went away and worked on things for a period of time. That was it.”

After almost two decades in the sport, Murray’s thirst to improve remains as much a part of what makes him great anything he produces on the court.

“Some of the issues were sort of more technical,” Murray explained. “In terms of the way that I want to approach and play those matches, everyone's sort of in agreement about how to do that.

“But my feeling is that you need to be equipped with all the tools to allow you, if (for example), you want to play more up at the net, or if you want to dictate more points and generate more power, you need to have a sound technique and some of shots were kind of let me down at certain stages.

“I wanted to put in some work kind of technically to allow me to play the way I want to, the way that my team wants me to. So we did that and it's has helped.”

Murray had a good win against Brandon Nakashima in his first match after Wimbledon and then pushed Taylor Fritz, the American now ranked inside the top 10, hard in a tough three-set loss.

At the Masters 1000 in Canada, Murray had two good wins before an abdominal injury forced him to withdraw from the event as a precaution with the US Open so close at hand.

“There's so little time during the year and so few breaks in the year…you don't want to be thinking about technique when you are playing matches, really not good to be doing that, so you need time to work on things, to feel comfortable with it,” he said.

“Granted, I didn't have loads of time after Wimbledon, but I've been very clear about what those technical points are, I've been working on them every day in practice. And the matches that I played since I started again, it's been good.”

The abdominal injury turned out to be a minor tear, Murray said, the diagnosis of which was tricky given the necessity to breathe while having an MRI scan.

The good news is that having arrived earlier than usual in New York, Murray has been practising well and is fully fit as he prepares to begin against the talented Frenchman, Corentin Moutet, on Tuesday.

“The last five or six days of practice have been really good,” he said. “I have not had any issues serving. It is just obviously 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.”

Though Murray, at No 37, is ranked 34 places higher than Moutet and it's undoubtedly a match the three-time Grand Slam winner will expect to win. But there is no chance of him underestimating the unique challenge posed by the left-hander.

“I’ve not played against him but practised with him once,” he said. “Uunbelievably talented guy. Not the biggest, tends to play quite long points but he's got tons of variety, good hands at the net.

“He can be a bit volatile at times but yeah, a good challenge for me, very different to how most players play in the draw. A lot of the game nowadays is based on power and serves and he's the opposite really. Good test for me.”

Murray is one of six British players in the main draw and in a quirk of the schedule, all six will play on Tuesday.

British No 1 Cam Norrie takes on Alexander Shevchenko while Dan Evans, the winner in Washington earlier this month, plays Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia. Jack Draper, who is battling injury, is due to take on Radu Albot.

In the women’s draw, No 1 Katie Boulter will look to build on her good run at Wimbledon by beating Diane Parry of France. Jodie Burrage, in the main draw of a slam for the first time outside of Wimbledon, faces Anna Blinkova in round one.