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

The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?