ANDY MURRAY admitted his relief after cruising through to the second round of the US Open last night with a comfortable straight sets win over Lukas Lacko at a sweltering Flushing Meadows.
In temperatures touching 100 degrees, Murray breezed past the Slovakian 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a second round clash with Jamaican Dustin Brown.
Fourth seed Murray, a finalist in 2008, never looked in any danger against world No71 Lacko, but admitted that the red-hot conditions made the match tougher than it appeared.
“I managed to get through in straight sets so I’m pleased, but it was a lot tougher than the score suggests,” he said.
“Everyone in my box always tells me it’s a lot tougher watching in the heat than playing but I’m not so sure. They were brutal conditions.”
Murray is joined in round two by seeds Nicolas Almagro and Sam Querrey, although Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, seeded seven, crashed out to Michael Llodra 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-4.
The sizzling heat in New York proved too much for women’s No10 seed Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, who collapsed on court during her second-round match against Gisela Dulko, while Venus Williams came through 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 against Canada’s Rebecca Marino.