x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Patient Murray overcomes big-hitting Gulbis

The second seed plays a steady game to defeat the inconsistent Latvian in his first-round match at the US Open.

Andy Murray's consistency and variety of shots proved too much for Ernests Gulbis.
Andy Murray's consistency and variety of shots proved too much for Ernests Gulbis.

NEW YORK // The second-seeded Andy Murray played a steady game to defeat big-hitting Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-5, 6-3, 7-5 in his first-round match at the US Open. The Scot traded baseline blows with the 95th-ranked Gulbis in the first set and the Latvian responded with wild misses and blistering winners and pushed the Briton to five set points before finally succumbing to a service break in the 12th game.

Murray, runner-up last year to Roger Federer in his first grand slam final, then varied his attack by mixing in forays to the net and took advantage of mounting mistakes from Gulbis, who had 51 unforced errors, 30 more than Murray. Murray advances to a second-round match against the 87th-ranked Paul Capdeville of Chile. While Murray won in straight sets, two other title contenders were even more dominant in their first-round matches: Serbia's Novak Djokovic crushed Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, while France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga barely raised a sweat in blasting past Chase Buchanan 6-0, 6-2, 6-1. The seeded casualties were Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, and Igor Andreev, who only won six games against the No 276-ranked American Jesse Witten.

* Reuters