World No2 Andy Murray’s bid to reach the final of all four grand slams in 2016 continued with a routine straight sets victory over Spain’s Marcel Granollers in second round of the US Open.
Playing under the new roof above Arthur Ashe Stadium as the rain hammered down, Murray waltzed through to round three by defeating world No45 Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes.
The 29-year-old second seed will now face either Gilles Simon of France or Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi in the last 32 at Flushing Meadows tomorrow.
Murray has now chalked up 24 victories from 25 matches since the beginning of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club in June, although a first-serve percentage of just 43 per cent against Granollers -- he also hit 28 unforced errors -- did not go unnoticed by the Olympic champion.
“I hit quite a lot of winners, although my first-serve percentage wasn’t great,” said Murray.
“I won a lot of points behind my first serve. I would have liked to make a few more first serves but it is a little bit different serving under the roof, a little heavier conditions.”
The roof proved a distraction for British No1 Murray generally. He added: “At first we didn’t know if there was just more people coming in at the change of ends, but then we quickly realised it was the rain.
“It’s tough. You couldn’t really hear the ball, which makes it tricky, but we’re lucky to play under the roof because otherwise there’d be no tennis right now.”
An extra 2,000 fans, meanwhile, will be able to watch Murray’s bid to win a sixth title at Queen’s next year after the tournament confirmed its intention to expand its Centre Court capacity. The current capacity stands at 6,651.
Tournament director Stephen Farrow said: “Last year we sold out within 24 hours and enjoyed a 20 per cent increase in hospitality sales, so the demand for an increase in capacity is clear.”