Murray starts US Open with win despite serve struggles

Murray starts US Open with win despite serve struggles

NEW YORK - Reuters
Murray starts US Open with win despite serve struggles

British player Andy Murray hopes to end his drought of winning a Grand Slam at the US Open, the final major tennis tournament of the year. AFP photo

Andy Murray’s serve was anything but golden on the opening day of the US Open but the Scot still had too much firepower for Alex Bogomolov Jr. and led a parade of favorites into the second round on Aug. 27.

The top guns had little trouble making it through their first-round encounters, with world number one Roger Federer, three-time champion Kim Clijsters and top-seeded Victoria Azarenka hardly breaking sweat.

Murray was at his best when it mattered most, recording a service break in a healthy nine of 19 chances against the Russian to win 6-2 6-4 6-1 in two hours, 15 minutes.

However, the Scotsman successfully landed only 49 percent of his first serves in humid, windy conditions against Bogomolov.

“I would have liked to have served a bit better because I wasn’t getting many free points on my serve,” said Murray, looking for his first Grand Slam title weeks after winning the Olympic gold medal. “Because of that, there were a lot more rallies. When he’s in a rhythm, he’s tough to break down.”

Federer, seeking his sixth title at Flushing Meadows, dismantled American Donald Young 6-3 6-2 6-4 while Clijsters overwhelmed American teenager Victoria Duval 6-3 6-1.

Not to be outdone, Azarenka, seeking her second major title after winning this year’s Australian Open, blew past Russian Alexandra Panova 6-0 6-1 in just 50 minutes.

Defending champion Samantha Stosur needed only 51 minutes to blitz Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-1 6-1.