Andy Murray races into US Open third round with Ivan Dodig victory

 

US Open

  • Venue: Flushing Meadows
  • Dates: 27 August - 9 September

Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; live text commentary on the day's best match

Britain's Andy Murray eased into the third round of the US Open for the seventh consecutive year with a straight-sets victory over Ivan Dodig.

Match Analysis

"A thoroughly professional performance from Murray who played tight to the baseline, hit deep and was aggressive throughout. In other words, the way he'd play against Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. It's one of coach Ivan Lendl's key messages: play the right way and it becomes a habit, don't hold back against a guy who you think is a mug and wait for him to beat himself. Dodig had no answer to Murray's pace and variety and after a patchy performance in round one this was the British man sending a firm message of intent to his key rivals."

He outclassed the unseeded Croatian 6-2 6-1 6-3 in a hugely one-sided match lasting an hour and 50 minutes.

Murray, 25, followed up his erratic first-round win over Alex Bogomolov Jr with a clinical display on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

He will meet Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the last 32.

The third seed produced 10 aces and 30 winners and said afterwards that he was pleased to have improved on his patchy opening performance against Bogomolov.

"It was better than the first round, that's for sure. It was pretty comfortable conditions out there. There wasn't really any wind, it was fairly cool as well. That helped," said Murray.

"I moved better than I did in the first match and served better, and I was able to dictate more of the points because of that. I was much happier with the way I played."

Dodig, who was on the verge of breaking into the world's top 30 before a back problem hindered his progress and caused him to plummet to 118th in the rankings, rarely troubled the Scot.

And Murray admitted he had done his homework on his opponent by watching footage of the Croatian over the last few days.

"I knew he liked to come forward a lot. When I saw him coming into the net, I tried to move forward in the court and managed to chase down a few of the drop volleys," he said.

"When you're expecting something, it makes it much easier to play against.

"When he first came on the tour, not many guys will have seen him. When someone serve-volleys and comes into the net a lot, it's tough nowadays, you don't see it that often."

Match stats

Murray Dodig

10

Aces

3

133mph

Fastest serve

129mph

57%

First serves

56%

30

Winners

23

21

Unforced errors

27

6/9

Break points

0/3

16/21

Net pts

22/35

An aggressive Murray, playing close to the baseline, broke the Dodig serve six times, the first of which was in the third game of the opening set when his opponent sent a wayward forehand long.

The Olympic champion broke the Croatian's serve again for a 5-2 lead and comfortably served out for the set before breaking again at the start of the second set when a double fault, followed by a misjudged forehand, gifted the game to Murray.

Within 70 minutes the British number one had a two-set advantage and victory never seemed in doubt, especially after he broke early in the third for a 3-1 lead.

Dodig squandered two break points in the seventh game, his erratic forehand once again proving his downfall, and it proved to be the 27-year-old's only sniff as Murray served out for victory.

"When I was a kid I came to watch [Justine] Henin and [Kim] Clijsters in the final. I always wanted to play night matches here and I love it," added Murray.

"The conditions are nice. It's a good atmosphere to play in. There's a good energy on the court, that's why I've played well."