Defending Champion Murray Sees Off Llodra in a Late US Open Start.

Defending champion Andy Murray progressed into the second round of the US Open after beating Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in a match which rainfall had earlier threatened to delay until Thursday.

Andy Murray Starts US Open Title Defence.
Andy Murray Starts US Open Title Defence.

Murray, who could not reach the finals of the Montreal and Cincinnati Opens, arrived in New York nearly two weeks ago in preparation for his title defence.

The world number three was sharp from the outset on his return to the Arthur Ashe Stadium where he won his first Grand Slam title.

He produced a terrific backhand smash in a quick-fire rally at the net on his way to a 2-0 lead and breaking once again as he took the opening set in 26 minutes.

33-year-old Llodra’s raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set after a serve-volley but the Wimbledon champion broke back with a cross-court fourhand pass and again with a fizzling shot that dipped at Llodra’s feet.

Murray sealed the set with five games in a row and by the time the third set had begun, the Scot had hit 19 winners and made only one unforced error.

“It was a good start, I played well today,” Murray said. “He’s a very tricky opponent to play against, he’s unpredictable.

“He’s a fun guy to watch but he can be a bit of a nightmare to play against, so it’s good that I got off to a good start, especially after waiting around all day.”

Murray earned his fifth break with a screamer of a backhand which flew past his opponent at the net. Llodra later settled for an unsuccessful underarm serve and dropped serve one final time.