Andy Murray continued his US Open title defence with a difficult 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Leonardo Mayer.
Murray found himself the victim of scheduling once again, demoted to Louis Armstrong. The Scot is certainly not a fan of this court - some of his most agonising US Open losses have taken place in it's intimate confines. Mayer never threatened a complete upset, but he did cause Murray some real moments of concern.
For much of the first set Murray was on the back foot. The Scot had to defend break points in his opening service game and found it difficult to make headway against an opponent whose shotmaking belied his lowly ranking.
(60.04 KB. 960x553 - viewed 11654 times.)
Murray managed to protect his service games and, at 6-5*, Mayer's forehand unravelled. Three unforced errors in a row gave Murray set points and wild cross-court forehand finished the job.
Having weathered the storm, Murray upped his game and cruised through the second set in just 35 minutes. The Scot broke his opponent twice, sealing the set with a dismissive forehand smash.
Mayer wasn't finished yet - a hold in the first game of the third gave him some security, and two moments of inattention from Murray opened the door to a break. A careless smash into the net followed by a missed volley gave the Argentine 0-30. Mayer grabbed the chance with both hands, crashing a crosscourt winner to bring up three break points. Two went begging, but a huge crosscourt forehand took the third.
Murray, who had been strangely irritable all night, was not impressed. The Scot was even less impressed at 4-1 when he found himself three break points down and in danger of a double break. Some prolificacy from his opponent saw the danger pass though and the Wimbledon Champion fashioned two break points of his own in the next game.
Both went begging and Mayer eased into a 5-2 lead. The Argentine showed no signs of nerves and served the set out to love.
Already disadvantaged by scheduling, the last thing Murray needed was to get caught in a prolonged dogfight. The Scot responded admirably, turning on the style and demolishing his wilting opponent in the fourth set.
Murray will meet Florian Mayer in the next round, time TBA on Sunday.