Andy Murray booked his place in the second round of this year's US Open on Monday

Andy Murray secures his place in the second round of the US Open after beating Francisco Cerundolo

Andy Murray gets off to a good start at the US Open and puts his cramp issues aside to advance to the second round with a routine 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 win over Argentine Francisco Cerundolo

  • Andy Murray has booked his place in the second round of this year’s US Open
  • The Briton beat Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-3 6-3 at Flushing Meadows
  • Murray shook off worries about his fitness, after battling cramps
  • He produced his first consecutive victory at a Grand Slam tournament in five years

Andy Murray got off to a strong start to his US Open campaign with a straight-sets win over 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo in New York.

The 35-year-old came into the tournament having won just one game on North American hard courts and with concerns about lingering cramps, but it proved to be a relatively straightforward outing in wet conditions.

Argentinian Cerundolo won the majority of his ranking points on clay and Murray had to fight his way through many long rallies to claim a 7-5 6-3 6-3 victory, with the only real negative a failure to serve. the three sets.

Andy Murray booked his place in the second round of this year’s US Open on Monday

The Briton won his first consecutive victory at a Grand Slam tournament in five years

The Briton won his first consecutive victory at a Grand Slam tournament in five years

It was the first time Murray had won a match in straight sets at a Grand Slam since Wimbledon five years ago, and he said: “It felt like five sets to me. It’s very difficult conditions, very wet and warm. I was really happy with the way I got through that one, it wasn’t easy.”

Ten years after his maiden Grand Slam title and with Ivan Lendl back in his dressing room, Murray remains optimistic he can have more memorable Grand Slam days.

Coaching on the pitch is allowed this year for the first time, and Murray said of Lendl with a smile: “He’s a man of few words. He didn’t say a lot of things, but having him there to support me is really important. He’s still there supporting me at this point in my career when a lot of people wouldn’t.”

He hasn’t made it past the second round at Flushing Meadows since 2016, but that was a draw. Cerundolo is still looking for his first main draw win at a slam and is inexperienced on hard cards.

Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo was no match for Murray at Louis Armstrong Stadium

Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo was no match for Murray at Louis Armstrong Stadium

Murray got off to a shaky start, dropping his first service game at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the scene of torturous battles for the Scotsman before it was rebuilt.

He immediately set about trying to make sure it wasn’t another, winning four games in a row and looking set to take the opening set to play a dreadful service game at 5-3.

He was furious in the following game when Cerundolo got a point as the ball appeared to bounce twice as he rushed to pick up a volley.

The Scot has allayed his fitness worries after his three-set battle with Cerundolo

The Scot has allayed his fitness worries after his three-set battle with Cerundolo

The referee was powerless to overturn his decision but, after two big-screen replays supported by Murray, Cerundolo sportingly awarded the point to his opponent – a gesture for which the Scot thanked him after the game.

Cerundolo, who had lost the previous four games to British players, was still holding serve but then gifted the set to his opponent two games later with a double fault.

Murray took a 5-0 lead in the second before losing three games in a row, but it was essentially the Scotsman in full control now and, barring another failure to serve a set, he finished in strength.

Follow Sportsmail’s live coverage of Andy Murray’s first round match at the US Open in New York.

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Andy Murray secures his place in the second round of the US Open after beating Francisco Cerundolo

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