Former World No. 1 Andy Murray maintained his strong first-round record at the US Open on Monday, when he downed 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
The Scot, who lifted the trophy in New York in 2012, fired his backhand through the court, while he recovered from squandering a 5-2 lead in the first set to eventually advance after two hours and 41 minutes.
“It was very tricky conditions today,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “Very humid and hot. I am very happy with the way I got through that one, it was not easy. He has had a brilliant year this year and I knew I had to play well and I did in the important moments.”
Murray is up six spots to No. 45 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings with his victory and has improved to 15-1 in first-round matches at the US Open. The 35-year-old will next face Emilio Nava after the American wild card clawed past Australian John Millman 7-6(9), 4-6, 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-1. Murray was coached by Ivan Lendl when he captured his maiden Grand Slam title in New York 10 years ago. The Czech coach was courtside during Murray’s victory against Cerundolo.
“To have him [Lendl] there supporting me is really important,” Murray said when asked about having Lendl in his box. “We have had great results together. He is still there supporting me at this stage in my career when many people wouldn’t. So I really appreciate the time he is taking to do that.”
Murray now holds a 20-14 record on the season, having reached finals on hard in Sydney and grass in Stuttgart.
French lucky loser Corentin Moutet reached the second round in New York for a third consecutive year after former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka was forced to withdraw from their clash.
Moutet led 6-4, 7-6(7) when the action was halted. The 23-year-old will next play Czech qualifier Tomas Machac or Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.