Andy Murray received a big boost in confidence when he took a solid win over Francisco Cerundolo in the opening round of the US Open, but the former World Number 1 admits he struggled by the end of the match.
For the first time since the 2016 US Open, Murray won a two-set match at Flushing Meadows, overcoming an initial swing to greet the 24th seeded on Monday morning.
Further good news for the three-time Grand Slam winner, there were no obvious signs the cramps that upset him in recent games, although he looked rather tired during the final stages of his 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win in two hours and 43 minutes at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Murray made a nightmare start when he was broken in the first match of the match, but Cerundolo’s glee was short-lived as the Scotsman responded immediately and a second break saw him open a 4-1 lead.
Finding himself serving to stay in the game at 5-3, Cerundolo produced brilliant sportsmanship as there was an argument from Murray that he would play a ball on the double rebound.
The chair referee ruled in favor of the Argentine, but after replays on the big screen showed that he bounced twice, Cerundolo indicated to the referee to hand the point to Murray, much to the delight of the audience while Murray he even gave him the thumbs up.
Cerundolo then broke and another hold was tied back at 5-5, but after Murray kept loving, the Scotsman came out and broke to take the first set.
Later it was one-way traffic when Murray took the 5-0 lead in the second set and, although Cerundolo got a break, he eventually served the set.
The third set also started with a break for Murray and he got an insurance policy in game five, but again he failed to close the set when Cerundolo broke up.
But the Argentinian’s poor serve match saw Murray take the lead by 0-40 and he eventually finished in his third match point.
Next up for Murray is John Millman from Australia or American wild card Emilio Nava, while he is expected to meet 13th-seeded Matteo Berrettini in the third round.
“It felt like five sets, very, very difficult, humid and hot conditions. I was really happy with the way I got over it. It wasn’t as easy as him [Cerundolo] he had a brilliant year, but I’m glad I got through it, ”he said during his post-match interview.
Andy Murray brings his mind back to the 2012 US Open and his breakthrough in the Grand Slam
This year marks the 10th anniversary of his first Grand Slam victory in Flushing Meadows, but for the 35-year-old it felt like “ages ago”.
“It seems a long time ago. A lot has happened since then. It really seems like a long time ago, “she added.
Training on the pitch is allowed for the first time this year and Murray was delighted to have Ivan Lendl back in his penalty area.
“He is a man of few words. He wasn’t saying loads, but having him there to support me is really important, ”he said. “He’s still there to support me at this stage of my career when a lot of people wouldn’t.”
The Andy Murray article breaks the recent US Open hoodoo with a solid win: “Felt like five sets” first appeared on Tennis365.com.