US Open: Murray faces Verdasco in Second round

Silvia Morton
August 29, 2018

Andy Murray returned to Grand Slam tennis a victor as he battled past James Duckworth and into the second round of the US Open.

He beat 448th-ranked Australian James Duckworth, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the US Open, making this the first tournament since Wimbledon previous year to include all of the sport's Big Four - Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. After dropping the first set in a tie-break, it was always going to be a tough day for Murray, although he did very well from that point on to gradually gain ascendance and ultimately grind Duckworth down in four sets.

Being back playing at a Slam tournament for the first time in 14 months was a great feeling and I'm very happy I managed to mark it with a win.

"(To be a contender) I would have been able to train and practice a lot more than what I have done", he said.

Verdasco said: "I need to treat it like any other meeting, it won't change just because he has been injured".

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, is viewed past David Ferrer, also of Spain, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in NY.

Wawrinka, who like Murray missed the major previous year, brushed past eighth seed Grigor Dimitrov. He made headlines three weeks ago at the Rogers Cup in Toronto after finishing out a victory at 3 a.m. and weeping on the court.

"Pretty intense, yeah", said Murray after seeing off world 448 Duckworth whose five surgeries tops Murray's three trips to the operating theatre.

Andy Murray US Open 2018 tennis star
Andy Murray US Open 2018 marks his first Grand Slam since hip surgery

"I actually felt I could have moved better", said Murray, ranked 31st. "I don't know for what reason, it was extremely lively conditions out there". "I've definitely got a better chance now but it's still going to be an uphill battle".

The 31-year-old plays the Spanish 31st seed in the second match on Arthur Ashe Stadium at about 19:00 BST.

British No 2 Cameron Norrie, beat another Australian Jordan Thompson to reach the second round alongside Murray.

"I've struggled on this court, but it was attractive".

I really liked playing on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium - I think it's a bit easier to play on than the old one.

Wawrinka has a little more reason for hope. Before it used to swirl a lot in the old Armstrong. The sun went behind the court at one stage, which was good for the fans as well as the players. "I think it's a big improvement".

Like Murray, former champion Stan Wawrinka also sat out the 2017 US Open - in his case because of two knee surgeries.

Murray will play 31st seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round after he defeated compatriot Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. The American arrived at his home grand slam on an eight-match losing streak dating back to May.

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