Britain's Andy Murray today defied "brutal conditions" to cruise into the second round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Murray had to wait until the third day to play his first-round match against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko, but needed just one hour and 51 minutes to complete a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
With the temperature in New York approaching 100 degrees - 10th seed Victoria Azarenka collapsed in the first set of her match with Gisela Dulko earlier - Murray was delighted to get through in straight sets against the world number 71.
"I managed to get through in straight sets so I'm pleased, but it was a lot tougher than the score suggests," Murray said.
"Everyone in my box always tells me it's a lot tougher watching in the heat than playing but I'm not so sure. It was brutal conditions."
Murray, the fourth seed, started with aces on the first two points and then broke Lacko in the fourth game, a trademark backhand drop shot setting up a break point which was won with a sublime forehand lob.
Lacko stuck to his task and saved three break points in his next service game, but was unable to force a break point - despite an horrendous smash missed by a casual Murray - as the Scot served out to take the set 6-3.
Murray broke Lacko's serve in the opening game of the second set, but was furious with himself for promptly losing his own, slamming his racket off his foot in frustration.
However, the 23-year-old made it three breaks in succession in the next game with a superb backhand return forcing Lacko into an error, and it was looking increasingly good for the British number one.
A double fault from Lacko, who reached the second round at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year having previously failed to win a grand slam match, gifted Murray another break in the seventh game.
And the Scot served out comfortably to claim the second set 6-2.
Lacko kept fighting and saved yet another break point at the start of the third set, but it was only a matter of time before Murray closed out the match.
A double fault from Lacko gifted the world number four a 2-1 lead and another break in the seventh game gave Murray the chance to serve out and complete a routine win.
And there was more good news for Murray as Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, the seventh seed and a potentially tough quarter-final opponent, was beaten in straight sets by France's Michael Llodra.Reuse content