Andy Murray believes he is playing his most consistent tennis since 2017 after securing his second-round spot at the US Open with a straight-sets victory over Corentin Moutet.
Murray’s success at Flushing Meadows was the 200th Grand Slam match victory of his illustrious career and set him up for a second-round meeting with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
The 36-year-old has overcome prolonged injury setbacks to force his way back into the top 40 of the world rankings – and is optimistic of improving further on his current placing of 37th.
“I’m at my highest ranking since I had the metal hip put in so I’m happy with that,” said Murray. “It’s not been an easy journey and obviously I’d like to be ranked higher.
“This is the best I’ve played consistently since probably 2017. I’m happy to still be going and progressing and hoping I can push my ranking up.”
Despite being forced to pull out of warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati with an abdominal strain, Murray showed no signs of struggling as he dispatched Moutet 6-2 7-5 6-3 on Grandstand.
“I feel good, the preparation was slightly tricky because I had to slowly build my serving up but I was happy with how I served today,” he added.
“I hope it was entertaining for everyone. There were some fun points, so I’m happy to get through in straight sets.”
Murray’s victory completed a good day for the British men’s contingent in New York, with Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Dan Evans also progressing into the second round with straight-sets wins.
Draper defeated Radu Albot of Moldova 6-1 6-4 6-3, while Evans advanced 6-4 6-2 7-5 against Colombia’s Daniel Galan and Norrie, the British No 1, dismantled Russian opponent Alexander Shevchenko 6-3 6-2 6-2.
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Wednesday 30th August 3:30pm
Norrie, who had lost his previous three matches on hard courts, credited Monday’s practice session with the world’s top-ranked player and defending champion, Carlos Alcaraz, for his smooth passage into round two.
“We had a really good practice. I think it really set the tone and I was able to put it into my match today,” said Norrie. “He’s always bringing a lot of flair and excitement to the practice court.
“It was not an easy match, Shevchenko has had a good year so far. I know his game quite well, I’d practised with him a few times.
“I was able to play longer points and win some of the tough games. It was a nice match to play in the first round to get a lot of rhythm.”
Meanwhile, Draper overcame concerns over the shoulder injury that forced him out of the French Open and subsequently Wimbledon this summer to come through unscathed against Albot.
“It’s been a tough couple of months,” the 21-year-old admitted. “When I was in Paris I thought it would be a short-term thing. It turned into a long time and I’m sort of still doing all the rehab for it, making sure that it’s OK.
“There was maybe a possibility that I might not be able to play in this tournament, but I looked after it really well, taking it day by day. Today I didn’t feel it at all so I was very, very happy.”
The US Open on Sky Sports: How and where to watch
The US Open is back on Sky Sports with the promise to give fans live coverage of the Grand Slam like never before.
Sky welcomes tennis back to its channels, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom-built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.
The technology involved allows us to add an entirely new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights will also be available on the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.