Murray beats opening round jitters to make easy progress

'Nervous' Scot quickly gets measure of India's world No 64 to set up tie against Netherlands' Robin Haase

Flushing Meadows

The wait was a long one but Andy Murray's US Open campaign is under way. The 24-year-old Scot had to hold on until the third day of the year's final Grand Slam tournament to play Somdev Devvarman but by the end of his first-round match was looking in good shape for the greater challenges that lie ahead. Murray won 7-6, 6-2, 6-3 to earn a meeting in the second round with the Dutchman Robin Haase.

After rarely getting out of third gear as he laboured to win a 70-minute first set, Murray put his foot down in the latter stages to pull clear of his Indian opponent. Devvarman, the world No 64, is a competent ball-striker but did not have a big enough game to trouble Murray unduly. Having looked nervous at the start, the British No 1 played much better in the second and third sets and completed victory in two hours and 27 minutes.

With clear blue skies and warm sunshine, the conditions could hardly have been better, although Murray said there was a stiff breeze. The match was played in the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, which was barely a quarter full for most of the contest.

Nevertheless concentration was still a challenge for the players as spectators wandered around with apparently little concern for those on court. During one of Murray's service games, two women who were sitting in the front row got up and left, stopping to talk to someone on their way out.

Murray's early play did not match the boldness of his new bright-red shirt. The Scot lost the first three points, recovered to deuce and then dropped serve when he put a backhand in the net. He broke back to level at 3-3 when Devvarman hit a double fault on break point. The Indian took a 3-1 lead in the tie-break, but Murray won six of the next eight points to take the set.

At 2-2 in the second set Murray broke to love, completing the job with a rasping backhand winner down the line. The Scot, growing in confidence, won nine games in a row, faltering only at the end. He was broken when he served for the match at 5-2, making three successive errors by putting an attempted drop shot in the net and then missing two forehands. It was only delaying the inevitable, however, and Murray broke for the seventh time in the next game to take the match.

"I was a little bit nervous at the start and making some bad decisions," Murray said afterwards. "Once I calmed down I felt better in the middle of the first set and started hitting the ball a little bit better. But the second and third sets were good. I was hitting the ball pretty clean."

Asked why he had felt nervous, Murray replied with a smile: "Try being a British player going into a Grand Slam. It's not easy." He added: "You put a lot of effort and preparation into getting ready for these events and you don't want to get off to a bad start. I think nerves are a good thing. I think it shows you care and that I put a lot into getting ready for it. I hope my game's going to be there and the hard work pays off."

Haase, Murray's next opponent, beat Portugal's Rui Machado 6-0, 6-4, 6-4. The 24-year-old Dutchman, ranked No 41 in the world, won his first title this summer and beat Murray in their only previous meeting in Rotterdam three years ago. "He's tough and he'll definitely come out swinging, so I need to try and weather that, play a solid match," Murray said. "He's talented. He has quite a big game. He'll start off very fast, very flashy. He likes playing on the big courts."

Elena Baltacha, who plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round today, is the only Briton left in the women's singles after Laura Robson was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by the world No 33, Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 29-year-old Spaniard playing in her 32nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament.

What Medina Garrigues lacked in major weapons she made up for with her consistency as she kept making 17-year-old Robson play the extra ball. The youngest player in the world's top 200 went for her shots, which was a sound enough strategy, but the match statistics told their own story. Robson hit 20 winners to the Spaniard's nine but made 32 unforced errors to her opponent's six.

"I just made too many mistakes," Robson said afterwards. "I think I could have played better and I think I tried to go for too much. She always tried to go for the spin and then wait for the shot, so I thought I had to get in there straight away. I just went for too much sometimes."

Anne Keothavong lost 7-5, 6-3 to South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers on Tuesday night despite making a flying start. The Briton went 5-2 up and had a set point, but Scheepers took command of the match by winning seven games in a row.

Results: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York, US

Men's Singles 1st rd R Dutra Da Silva (Br) bt L Sorensen (Rep Ire) 6-0 3-6 6-4 1-0 ret; (18) J Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt F Volandri (It) 6-3 6-1 6-1; D Junqueira (Arg) bt K Beck (Slovak) 6-2 ret; G Garcia-Lopez (Sp) bt D Gimeno-Traver (Sp) 6-3 1-6 7-6 4-6 7-6; (25) F Lopez (Sp) bt T Ito (Japan) 6-2 6-4 6-4; V Pospisil (Can) bt L Rosol (Cz Rep) 6-1 6-2 6-1; R Haase (Neth) bt R Machado (Portugal) 6-0 6-4 6-4; (4) A Murray (GB) bt S Devvarman (India) 7-6 6-2 6-3; D Istomin (Uzb) bt R Sweeting (US) 3-6 7-5 6-4 7-6; J Benneteau (Fr) bt (10) N Almagro (Sp) 6-2 6-4 6-3 .

Women's Singles 2nd rd M Niculescu (Rom) bt A Dulgheru (Rom) 6-3 6-0; (27) L Safarova (Cz Rep) bt M Keys (US) 3-6 7-5 6-4; (13) S Peng (Chin) bt T Pironkova (Bul) 6-2 6-4; (19) J Goerges (Ger) bt L Pous Tio (Sp) 6-3 6-1; C McHale (US) bt (8) M Bartoli (Fr) 7-6 6-2; (25) M Kirilenko (Rus) bt V Dushevina (Rus) 6-1 6-2; (24) N Petrova (Rus) bt P Hercog (Sloven) 6-2 6-4; (22) S Lisicki (Ger) bt V Williams (US) w/o; (30) A Medina Garrigues (Sp) bt L Robson (GB) 6-2 6-3; (2) V Zvonareva (Rus) bt K Bondarenko (Ukr) 7-5 3-6 6-3.

* Seeded players in CAPS

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent