Murray beats Moutet in straight sets to reach second round

Andy Murray becomes the FOURTH Brit to reach the US Open second round after straight-sets win over Frenchman Corentin Moutet as the 2012 champion earns his 200th Grand Slam victory

  • Andy Murray joined Lily Miyazaki, Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie in winning
  • The 36 year-old Scot defeated Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-2 7-5 6-3
  • Murray will next face Grigor Dimitrov, who came through a five-set thriller

Andy Murray contributed to an outstanding beginning for the British contingent at the US Open on Tuesday when he became the fourth player out of four to make the second round.

The 36 year-old Scot defeated Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-2 7-5 6-3 to join the first three starters – Lily Miyazaki, Katie Boulter and Cam Norrie – in winning their opening matches.

Attempting to join them on Tuesday night were Dan Evans, Jack Draper and Jodie Burrage, but the GB squad was already guaranteed decent representation going forward in the heady environment of a Grand Slam.

Murray managed to get past the highly skilful and sometimes temperamental Moutet on his return to action after suffering a recent abdominal strain.

The 2012 champion needed to draw on all his experience to outsmart a flashy opponent, who fell heavily on his wrist at 2-2 in the third set and was then broken. In the final game there was also a rare recourse to the new VAR-type system being used this year at Flushing Meadows.

Andy Murray beat Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 to progress to the second round

Murray joined Lily Miyazaki, Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie in winning his first round match

Murray joined compatriots Katie Boulter (pictured), Cameron Norrie and Lily Miyazaki in progressing

Moutet appealed against being adjudged to have played a double bounce at 15-30 when Murray was trying to serve out the match. However, the replay was inconclusive so the call from umpire Louise Engzell stood.

‘He has so many different ways to disrupt you and moves so well, always causes a bit of chaos, there were some fun points,’ said Murray, who will play either Grigor Dimitrov or Slovak Alex Molcan. ‘The preparation was tricky but the ab felt good and I was happy how I played.’

A return to the scene of his American college days had proved the perfect repair job Cam Norrie, who snapped his post-Wimbledon losing streak to make the second round.

Dejected after making a first round exit at the Cincinnati Open in mid-August, the British number one took himself back to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth to prepare for the season’s final Grand Slam.

The result was a sharp upturn from recent performances, and his 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Russian Alex Shevchenko at Flushing Meadows was his quickest ever in a Major at just over an hour and a half.

It was the first time that Norrie, who is one of 27 players in the men’s and women’s draw who attended US college, had been back to TCU since leaving in 2017 to turn professional.

‘I was able to reset, go back to college and spend a few days there with some of my old coaches and practice a little bit,’ said Norrie. ‘It was insanely hot, over 40 every day. So I was trying to practice early in the day and then I came here, and it was, like, nothing. It was so easy to play in the heat here. It was a good few days, and really set the tone for my practice here.’

Moutet had his moments but it was a relatively comfortable victory for the Scot 

He also benefitted from having a session on Monday with Carlos Alcaraz, a player he actually beat earlier in the season to win the Rio de Janeiro title: ‘ I really enjoy playing points with him, because you can’t really leave the ball short or kind of take anything off the ball, because he’s going to be the one dictating play, so that helped.’

Prior to this event Norrie had declared that he fancied conditions at Flushing Meadows, which are generally reckoned to be slightly slower than recent editions. It certainly looked that way as he got past the world number 83 with a minimum of fuss, and he will now play little known Taiwanese qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu, world number 247.

It shows how far Norrie has come that his recent slump was unexpected. Even after a relatively barren summer he has still won 33 matches to date in 2023 and remains at a ranking of sixteen.

He pounded his forehand impressively on Tuesday, and wrongfooted even the nimble Russian with the shovelled backhand that opponents find often difficult to deal with.

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