US Open: Andy Murray advanced to the second round of the US Open on Monday by defeating Francisco Cerundolo, the 24th seed, with no symptoms of his recent cramping problems.
The 35-year-old entered the competition having only won one set on North American hard courts all season and having issues with chronic cramps, but this turned out to be a very simple contest in the humid weather.
The majority of Argentinean Cerundolo’s ranking points had come from victories on clay, so Murray had to work hard to win 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. The only real drawback was that he didn’t serve out all three sets.
Murray said after the match, which was his first Grand Slam victory in straight sets since Wimbledon five years ago: “To me, that seemed like five sets. The weather is extremely difficult, humid, and warm. It was not an easy one, so I was extremely pleased with how I handled it.”
Ivan Lendl is back in his box, ten years after Murray won his first grand slam title, and Murray is still certain that he can have more great Grand Slam moments.
On-court coaching is allowed this year for the first time, and Murray said of Lendl with a smile: “He’s a man of few words. He wasn’t saying loads but to have him there supporting me is really important. He’s still there supporting me at this stage in my career when many people wouldn’t.”
Although this was a favourable draw, he hasn’t advanced past the second round at Flushing Meadows since 2016. Cerundolo lacks experience with hard cards and is still searching for his first major main draw triumph.
Louis Armstrong Stadium, the site of previous gruelling struggles for the Scot before it was rebuilt, was the scene of Murray’s rough start, as he dropped his opening service game there.
He immediately got to work attempting to prevent this from happening again, winning four straight games and looking like he was going to win the first set before playing a terrible serve game at 5-3.
In the following game, he lost his cool when Cerundolo was given a point despite the fact that the ball appeared to bounce twice as he lunged to catch a drop volley.
The umpire was helpless to change his choice, but Cerundolo graciously gave Murray the point when two slow-motion replays on the big screen supported Murray’s claim. Murray praised him for his generosity after the match.
Cerundolo, who had lost his four prior matches to British opponents, was still holding serve until he double-failed two games later to give the set to his rival.
For tennis championship, US Open, tennis live score, tennis tournament, tennis court, tennis live update and other latest tennis news follow Livematchupdates.com.