BRITISH No1 Andy Murray overcame the first hurdle of his latest quest for an elusive maiden grand slam title with a straight-sets victory over India’s Somdev Devvarman at the US Open last night.
Murray did not have things all his own way against the world No64 but rarely had to get out of first gear to reach the second round 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-3.
The Scot got off to a wobbly start, Devvarman breaking in the very first game, and had to work hard to take the opening set in fierce heat. But from there Murray found his range and rhythm and closed out the win to set up a second round clash with Holland’s world No41 Robin Haase.
While Murray sailed through at Flushing Meadows, compatriot Laura Robson’s hugely encouraging run came to an end, the 17-year-old losing to 30th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues.
The world No173, who cleared three qualifying rounds and saw her opponent retire in the first round proper, blamed too many unforced errors for her defeat to the Spaniard.
“I’ll take a lot of positives,” said Robson, who is likely to climb into the top 150 for the first time. “It was my first time qualifying for a grand slam and I won a round. I think today she just had more experience and that showed.”
An ever higher-profile exit from the women’s draw was two-time winner Venus Williams, who withdrew last night with an unspecified illness before her second-round match with Sabine Lisicki.