Hurricane Andy breezes past Brown despite the elements
Saturday 04 September 2010
Hurricane Earl was in the air but it was Hurricane Andy who swept through Arthur Ashe Stadium here yesterday.
A 25-minute break for rain only delayed the inevitable as Andy Murray breezed into the third round of the US Open with an emphatic 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jamaica's Dustin Brown in just 85 minutes.
Two years ago Tropical Storm Hanna did little for Murray's hopes of beating Roger Federer in the final here, the Swiss enjoying two days to prepare for the match while the Scot had less than 24 hours following his rain-delayed semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
Murray, who now plays Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, might have feared more problems this year as Hurricane Earl swept up America's east coast, but although the wind swirled around the court the rain held off long enough for him to complete his task.
Given that Murray did not play his first match until Wednesday, he will have been relieved to wrap up victory so quickly. Indeed, with the big-hitting Brown attacking at every opportunity, there were so few rallies that Murray went straight to the practice court after the match and hit for 45 minutes.
At least Hurricane Earl made the conditions more bearable. Murray played in 43C heat in his first match, but it was 15C cooler yesterday. The skies were grey, though there was plenty of colour in the stadium, most of it provided by Brown and his supporters. Brown himself wore a white shirt, sky-blue shorts with orange and white checks, and yellow wristbands. He had lime-coloured laces on his right foot and orange on his left.
Murray's team were as animated as usual, but they were subdued in comparison with Brown's box. Several members of the Jamaican's entourage were wearing national football shirts and they greeted his biggest winning shots with whoops of delight. Elsewhere around the stadium there were cries of "Come on, rasta man!" and "Here we go, Dustin, here we go!"
Brown, clearly keen to get on with things, did not sit down at the changeovers and tried to start one game while the music was still playing. The 6ft 5in world No 123, who not so long ago was travelling around Europe in a camper van playing Challenger and Futures tournaments, has an unpredictable style and mixes big hitting with frequent drop shots. Against a player of Murray's speed the latter was not the most sensible of tactics.
From the opening game it was clear that Brown would attack when he could, particularly on Murray's second serve. On his own serve the Jamaican began with 137mph and 126mph aces. Murray failed with Hawk-Eye challenges on both, but made the best possible response by winning the next game with a service winner and three successive aces.
Rain started to fall after the second game and after only nine minutes, with Murray leading 2-1, the players came off court, although they were back within half an hour. Brown saved a set point when he served at 4-5, but two games later Murray broke to take the first set, taking advantage of some ill-advised forays to the net by the Jamaican. Murray, who was a model of consistency, was happy to let Hurricane Dustin blow himself out and raced into a 5-0 lead, took the second set in 28 minutes and needed 10 minutes less to clinch the third.
"I just started to read his game a bit better," Murray said afterwards. "I've not really ever seen him play before. He has a very fast service action, so it took a few games to start to read the serve a little bit. He started off very, very flashy. The first couple of games I didn't have many chances, but towards the end of the set I started to have some opportunities."
He added: "When you play as high risk tennis as that, it's difficult over five sets to keep it up, so I just needed to keep making a lot of balls, keep putting returns in play."
Murray was grateful that the matches before him were completed quickly. Elena Dementieva, the losing finalist here six years ago, beat Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-2, while Kim Clijsters, having lost the first three games to Petra Kvitova, won the next 12 in succession.
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