Andy Murray won her first match in two years at the US Open while top seed Daniil Medvedev joined the Scot as he motored through to the second round on Monday in torrid conditions.
Opening day was short on surprises at Flushing Meadows, with Murray turning in a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 demolition of Argentine Francisco Cerundolo as the 2012 New York titleholder advanced to the second round at a third major of the season.
Medvedev, who needs a top performance over the fortnight to hold off chasing Spaniards Rafael Nadal and teenaged young gun Carlos Alcaraz for the No. 1 ranking position, started his title defence campaign here 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 over Stefan Kozlov of the US
Medvedev improved to 21-4 at the venue as he works to become the first to win consecutive trophies here since Roger Federer swept the table in 2004-08.
“I am pleased to win. Not easy conditions. Pretty hot and humid here,” Medvedev said.
“I was sweating a lot but I thought there were some good points. I managed to be pretty solid and I thought the serve was key today. I am happy to go through to the second round.”
Medvedev moved through with 37 winners and 19 unforced errors as he beat the tournament debutant.
Medvedev owns just one trophy this season at Los Cabos on hardcourt in early August. earlier this month; he reached the semi-finals at the last major tune-up in Cincinnati.
The top seed had to work in sweltering conditions with temperatures touching 30 Celsius.
“It was pretty hot and humid. I saw the other guys coming from five-setters in the locker room, pretty red faces,” he said.
“It’s fun in a way sometimes to get through these conditions. Even today, the match was maybe not that intensive and long.
“I sweated a lot and it was not easy.”
Murray broke eight times against Latin opponent Cerundolo in a draining battle lasting for two and three-quarter hours.
“Towards the end it was really getting pretty hot and humid,” the 35-year-old Scot said.
“I thought I did a pretty good job out there.I could have closed some of the sets quicker, but overall was a solid performance.”
Murray won in straight sets at a Grand Slam for the first time in five years.
“It’s obviously nice any time, especially in those conditions and early on in a slam, to get through in straight sets,” the multiple hip surgery patient said.
“He’s a top player and he’s probably only getting better, as well. It was a good win for me.”
Murray moved into a second-round match with American wildcard Emilio Nava.
“It felt like five sets to me, it was tricky conditions, very humid and hot,” the winner said.
“But I’m happy with the way I got through that one. He has had a brilliant year, I knew I had to play well and I did that in the important moments.”
Fifth seed Casper Ruud, whose strong suit is European clay, handed Britain an early loss as he beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 with 10 aces and six breaks of serve in just under two and a half hours.
Ruud, who is also in with a chance at the top ranking spot, plays the second round against Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven, a winner over Chinese qualifier Zhang Zhizhen 3-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(9), 6-1, 6-4.
2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini, whose seeding has dropped to 13th after a long injury absence this spring, reached the second round over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Switzerland lost half of its men’s entry within hours of the start as 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka had to quit to hand Corentin Moutet a 6-4, 7-6(7) first-round loss.
Wawrinka, 37, has not played the Open since 2019 prior to a handful of foot operations which have left him scratching for form.
The No. 295 who entered on a protected injury ranking, had an abbreviated stay with each set still lasting an average of one hour.
The loss was Wawrinka’s fifth a a row in the first round and leaves his record since returning to the ATP in March at three wins, 10 losses.
Main photo:- Unseeded Andy Murray beats 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo in first round match – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd.