NEW YORK, September 2, 2016
Andy Murray booked his place in the third round of the US Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers. The second seed sent down five aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points.
As the rain came down at Flushing Meadows, Murray made use of the new roof to get by the Spaniard in two hours and 22 minutes. The world number two wasn’t very happy with the different conditions, playing indoors.
“When the rain came it was certainly loud. I mean, you can’t hear anything, really. You could hear the line calls, but not so much when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, which is tough purely because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging,” Murray told.
“It’s not just the eyes, it’s the ears, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it. If we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn’t wearing them.”
Next up for Murray will be Paolo Lorenzi. The Italian veteran reached the third round of the US Open for the first time, beating Gilles Simon in 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 in four hours and 54 minutes. It has been the so far longest match of the week.
Third seed Stan Wawrinka remained untroubled in his match against Alessandro Giannessi, winning 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. The 31-year-old Swiss lost his service only once but broke his opponent four times to advance in two hours and 28 minutes.
Wawrinka will next take on Dan Evans, who upset Germany’s number 27th seed Alexander Zverev, winning 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. The 26-year-old from Birmingham capitalized on six of his 14 break point chances to seal victory in three hours and nine minutes.
The tournament’s number six Kei Nishikori fought past NextGen member Karen Khachanov, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a rain-delayed encounter. The Japanese withstood 20 aces from the Russian, hitting six of his own to prevail in two hours and 36 minutes.
“It wasn’t an easy match,” Nishikori said. “He served really well second and third sets. (I was) having a really tough time with my return game.
“But after the rain delay I changed some tactics and started working really well. It was a really tough match but happy to win.”
Nishikori will play Nicolas Mahut in the third round, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 winner over fellow Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Juan Martin del Potro downed Steve Johnson, producing 33 winners and only 23 unforced errors to secure a 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. The Argentine closed the match out after two hours and eight minutes.
“I’m trying to play as I was in 2009, but it’s not easy as I’m getting older. I took all my chances during the match, and at the end I played very well,” del Potro told during an on-court interview after the match.
He will take on David Ferrer. The Spanish veteran battled past Fabio Fognini in the last match on Day 4 in New York, winning 6-0, 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Ferrer broke the Italian’s serve 10 times to finish the encounter at 12:51 am.