Andy Murray backs up US Open favourite status by easing through first round as Brits enjoy good day

Olympic champion Andy Murray cruised through his first US Open match with a straight sets and straight forward victory at Flushing Meadow.

The number two seed brushed aside Lukas Rosol 6-3 6-2 6-2 to set up a second round clash with Spain’s Marcel Granollers.

With his wins in Rio and Wimbledon, and world number one Novak Djokovic’s more shaky recent form, Murray is many people’s favourite to win in New York.

And this was an ideal opener, with 11 aces and just 17 unforced errors underlining his dominance and his win completed in less than two hours.

Rosol had started strongly – the match commenced with a gruelling 22-stroke rally – but once Murray established control, the victory was ruthlessly executed.

Murray enjoys a 7-2 record against Granollers, winning their last four encounters, most recently in straight sets at Indian Wells.

“It was a tough start to the match and once I got the break up, I started to relax and play well,” he said.

“I was really happy with how I served and I need to keep that up. Marcel is a very different player, he likes to come forward a lot, he’s got great hands and is good at the net.

“He doesn’t give you much rhythm but hopefully I’ll play a good match.”

After wins for Kyle Edmund and Jo Konta on Monday, Murray will be joined in the second round by fellow Brits Naomi Broady and Dan Evans, though Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene both suffered first-round losses.

Broady beat fellow Brit Laura Robson 6-7 6-3 6-4 to secure only the second Grand Slam win of her career while Evans showed his fighting spirit to knock out American Rajeev Ram 6-2 4-6 7-5 6-1.

And Murray admitted he was impressed by the performance of Davis Cup team-mate Edmund, following his shock win over world number 15 Richard Gasquet 24 hours earlier.

“Kyle played extremely well. I practised with him the day beforehand and he was hitting the ball good in practice,” he said.

“He’s improving all of the time and to win a slam match like that against a guy that’s been at the top for a long time is a very good sign for him.

“Obviously Naomi and Laura had a tight match and Dan got through a tricky one against Rajeev Ram.

“Konta has been solid for a long time but Heather has never played so well here. It’s been a pretty good start for the Brits.”

Meanwhile, British number two Watson admitted to feeling ill following her 6-2 7-5 defeat to Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, even claiming she feared a return of the glandular fever which derailed her 2013 season.

“It was horrible and I’ve had a fever for the last three days but playing in this heat is almost impossible when you feel that bad,” she said.

“I was struggling to breathe and then my back, I don’t really know what it is, but I’ve been to see the doctor.

“I’m going to get some blood tests done and figure out what it was.”

Related Articles