British No. 1 Andy Murray is through to the third round of the United States Open, where he will contest a first-time match-up against Andrey Kuznetsov to determine who will advance to the final 16 of the tournament.
The 2012 US Open champion rolled into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Matthias Bachinger on the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday evening. The eighth seed struck 6 aces, won 83% of his first service points and a total of 36 winners to close out the match in 1 hour and 46 minutes.
“Well, it was extremely windy today. That was the hardest part about the conditions. Yeah, just very, very breezy. Difficult to play sort of close to the lines or anything like that. But I hit the ball well considering, served better, and obviously I moved a bit better today, as well.”
Murray’s performance on Thursday was a relief considering his severe case of cramps in his opening round match on Monday, where he dropped the third set in bizarre fashion. Yet he is still to determine what was the cause behind the cramps.
“You never know, to be honest. It’s very difficult to know exactly why that happens. Sometimes, you know, you can train as much as you want, drink as much. You know, I could have just missed something with my eating or drinking. That’s definitely a possibility. Maybe I could have eaten a bit more before the match. Maybe the couple days before in the lead-up. I don’t know. I mean, a few of the players have had some issues the last few days. So I don’t know if it was purely down to the conditions or not. But I played in hotter, more humid conditions than that and have been fine. So I don’t know.”
Unlike his upcoming opponent, Andrey Kuznetsov had a grueling match in the second round of the US Open, as he defeated Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in five sets to secure entry to the third round of the tournament for the first time in his career. Kuznetsov struck 9 aces, won 75% of his first service points and converted on 4 of 9 break point opportunities to secure the 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win on Court 11.
This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and should be a contest that favours the Scot. If both have sufficient rest, Kuznetsov could trouble Murray enough to grab a set but it unlikely he will manage much more than that.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets