Murray battles into round two

By for on
Andy Murray booked his place in the second round of the US Open with a hard-fought 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr. on Arthur Ashe stadium today.

It was a patchy performance from the Brit who looked a bit ragged for large parts of the match, making 31 unforced errors in all. However despite troubles with his serve - struggling to find the first serve that had been so effective in London a month ago – the third seed hit 46 winners and was able to romp to victory in the third set, although the scoreline was perhaps a slightly generous reflection on an otherwise unconvincing performance.

The match began with four consecutive breaks of serve before Murray eventually held serve in the fifth game, despite facing more break points. The Brit appeared to have left his serve in London, finding just 29% of his first serves in the opening exchanges. But he was finding better results with the drop shot, constantly pulling the Russian in with some perfectly executed shot making.

The Olympic champion was finding his groove after the shaky start and set up yet more break points at 3-2 with an emphatic passing shot. And he sealed the fifth break of the match, his third, with a deft winner at the net after chasing down a drop shot from the Russian. Bogomolov still hadn’t held serve and he was helpless to prevent Murray from taking the opening set; a return winner from the Scot securing it 6-2.

The second set started the same way as the first, with the third seed getting broken in the opening game - ending his run of five successive games. And Bogomolov finally held serve at the fifth attempt, with Murray seemingly having gone completely off the boil. The British number one was still fighting hard to save the set though, and after saving break points at 1-3 he found a way back into it. A loose game from the Russian gave Murray break back point, and despite saving the first he allowed Murray to level the set with an unforced error on the next.

And suddenly the tide turned. The Scot was re-energised, and he breezed through his next service game to put himself ahead in the set for the first time. And as the wind got stronger, Bogomolov faltered. Another error handed Murray set point, and although he was able to save it, a double fault put him back in trouble again. And this time there was no mistake from the world number four, dictating the rally and forcing Bogomolov into the error to take the second set 6-4.

Murray was serving first again but this time he held to love, and finally seemed to be finding his rhythm. Some silky hitting helped him to more break points, but the Russian stood firm to save the first three. And then a piece of Murray magic - a sublime backhand lob from the Brit floating gracefully over Bogomolov’s head and landing well inside the baseline, setting up a fourth break point. And the world number 73’s resolve seemed to have broken; a careless leave handing Murray the break, putting him in firm control.

But just when it seemed as if this contest was heading to a swift close, Bogomolov broke back. A heavy forehand caught the outside of the tramline for break point, and a meek error from Murray handed Bogomolov a lifeline. But he couldn’t take advantage, surrendering the very next game to allow the Scot to surge back in front.

Although the first serve had improved – now at 45% - Murray was still struggling through his service games and had to face more break points from the Russian, who was refusing to lie down. But he was able to fend them off – despite a worrying moment where the Brit pulled up with cramp – and edge ever closer to a place in round two. And by now the fight finally seemed to have gone out of Bogomolov; Murray broke him for the ninth time in the match, before serving it out with a handful of winners to seal his place in the second round.

Murray will face the big serving Croat Ivan Dodig in round two, who saw off young Japanese qualifier Hiroki Moriya for the loss of just three games.
Very fair match report tmh from what I saw of the match.   Perhaps Andy needed a match like that to play himself in given he came into the tournament pretty rusty in terms of hard court matches.  Let's hope this one got all the rust and nerves out of his system.   Did he leave the serve behind with his medals I wonder.  Greg R suggested the cramp might have been because of the humidity and they need to check his fluid intake.   
August 27, 2012, 10:46 PM
By Ruthie

One word. Scary.
August 27, 2012, 10:50 PM
By Tessie

Not scary surely - the result was never in doubt.
August 27, 2012, 10:55 PM
By Alis

Thanks for match report, Luke.

I can look back at that match and laugh, now it's all over.

The scoreline belies the performance and effort put forth during the heavy, humid conditions. Phew!

I also see Andy is still doing his finger-pointing skywards at the end of the match.

Onwards and upwards..
August 27, 2012, 11:04 PM
By scotnadian

Great report Luke, I didn't see the match but this really gives the feel of how the match went Smile
August 27, 2012, 11:07 PM
By Hazybear

Hi TMH and all,

Thank goodness you wrote the match report, it's fair and balanced.

I have to say, I wasn't so worried about Andy losing, I thought he would find a way. What scared me more was the thought of it going beyond three sets. I want Andy to keep as much in the tank as possible in these early rounds. He'll need it later.

I do seriously think Andy needs to have a look at his fluid intake. It's a thing I know a bit about because if my disability. I have to be careful to drink enough. When it is hot and humid I have to drink loads. Getting even a bit dehydrated is horrible, can cause cramp and all sorts. It can also make you feel slow and lethargic. Andy did look low on the fluids to me. Get drinking lad!
August 27, 2012, 11:10 PM
By teejay1

Good summary of how it went down. This is Andy Murray afterall and i guess we cant expect perfect performances all the time i guess we were spoilt recently.
August 27, 2012, 11:49 PM
By Rachie

Good job Andy!  You got it done in 3. Hope the humidity might lessen & you get evening matches, the sooner the better.
August 28, 2012, 01:04 AM
By adb..OH

Great report Luke, I didn't see the match but this really gives the feel of how the match went Smile

We can both watch later - nothing on tv tonight when I get home and since it's my night for cooking, we are having takeaway! Very Happy
August 28, 2012, 02:13 AM
By Bevc

Excellent very fair report Luke. Smile

I agree with Rachie - we were spoiled by seeing so many great performances from Andy at Wimbledon and then the Olympics.  I guess the crash had to come at some point - and in fact it didn't really surprise me, although I thought that after Cincinnati things might have improved.  It must have been a heck of a comedown psychologically for Andy playing in front of standard crowds after all the excitement of the Olympics, but he's a professional and three weeks have passed since then, so hopefully he'll soon adjust.

Anyway, enough of that from me.  The fact is that Andy won in what were gruelling conditions against an opponent who was, according to my comms, playing the best tennis of his career, and that he found a way to win despite such a low serve percentage.

Hopefully too by the next match Andy, with the help of his fitness advisers, will have his hydration problems sorted out.  It's a difficult balance at the best of times between letting yourself become dehydrated and being over-hydrated, which is just as bad.
August 28, 2012, 03:27 AM
By Aileen

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