US Open 2011: Andy Murray beats Somdev Devvarman in opener
- Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
- Dates: 29 August - 11 September
- Session start times: 1600 & 0000 BST
- Tournament coverage: Scores and reports on BBC website plus live text commentaries including all Andy Murray matches; updates and commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra; TV coverage on Sky Sports & Eurosport
Britain's Andy Murray opened his US Open campaign with a straight-sets victory over Somdev Devvarman of India.
Murray, the number four seed, was made to work hard in the early stages but came through 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-3.
The 24-year-old Scot was broken in his opening service game but recovered to take the first set on a tie-break.
And with his forehand a particularly effective weapon, Murray dominated the latter stages to set up a meeting with Dutchman Robin Haase in round two.
“ I obviously wanted to get through the match as quickly as possible and maybe I was rushing a little bit at the start”
After waiting until day three to begin his campaign, Murray found Devvarman a stiff test on a hot afternoon in New York.
Murray made a nervous start, dropping serve immediately, and even after getting back on level terms at 3-3 he struggled to break free of the world number 64.
It came down to a tie-break and Devvarman had his chance at 3-1, but a double-fault brought Murray level and the Briton went on to convert his third set point.
The first set had lasted 70 minutes and when Devvarman recovered an early break of serve in the second, a gruelling encounter beckoned, but the Murray forehand began to dictate and he broke twice more to take the set.
“Murray's aggression behind his forehand was the interesting factor in this match. It was obvious very early that he was going for more winners off that wing, particularly some well-timed down-the-line shots. He also seemed to be hitting through his backhand more, cutting down the slice, and I enjoyed the charge to the net behind a backhand drive hit straight down the centre. This early in a tournament, these are interesting twists to the Murray tactical framework. A one-off, or strategy for the whole tournament? ”
A double-break took Murray 4-0 clear in the third set and he would need that cushion after dropping serve at 5-3 with a loose game, eventually converting his second match point after two hours and 27 minutes.
"He's very solid," Murray said of Devvarman. "I've seen a little bit of him before. I watched a few videos of him the last couple of days just to see what his game was like.
"He doesn't give you many free points, especially early on in the match. You have to get him to work hard before he starts making mistakes.
"I was a little bit nervous at the start and making some bad decisions. Then once I calmed down, I felt better the middle of the first set and started hitting the ball a little bit better.
"The second and third sets were good. I was hitting the ball pretty clean."
The US Open is unusual in spreading the first-round matches across three days, and Murray felt that might have contributed in part to his uneven start to the match.
"It doesn't make a huge difference," said Murray, "but whereas if you play Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, if you have a really long match you've got a long time to recover.
"So I obviously wanted to get through the match as quickly as possible and maybe I was rushing a little bit at the start. I think it makes more sense to have Monday and Tuesday starts."