US Open: Murray beats Granollers to reach third round; de Potro, Tsonga, Monfils, too, eases ahead

Andy MurrayNew York: Playing under the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, No. 2 seed Andy Murray made it easy against Marcel Granollers and beat him 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 to storm into the third round of US Open, here on Thursday. Murray took two hours and 22 minutes to get past his rival.

He said after the match, “When the rain came it was certainly loud. I mean, you can't hear anything, really. You could hear the line calls, but not so much when he was hitting the ball or even when you're hitting the ball, which is tough purely because we're not used to it. That's what makes it challenging.

“… we use our ears when we play. It's not just the eyes. It helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that's on the ball, how hard someone's hitting it. If we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn't wearing them.”

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro had a convincing 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 second-round win against American Steve Johnson. The Argentine wild card had won the 2009 US Open title against Roger Federer on the same Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

In another match, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set a third-round meeting with Kevin Anderson after taking three hours to get past James Duckworth 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday. The ninth-seeded Frenchman won 10 more points than the Australian wild card, capitalising on four of 25 break points.

Meanwhile, Marcos Baghdatis equalled his best US Open showing by defeating another Frenchman, No. 32 seed Benoit Paire, 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The Cypriot previously reached the third round in 2013. 10th seed Gael Monfils saw off No. 226 Czech qualifier Jan Satral 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. Monfils will now face another qualifier in former Top 10 player Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Almagro sprung the upset on Uruguayan 18th seed Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-6(9).