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Murray Opens Campaign; Nishikori Makes Strong Start

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray was tested at times by Alex Bogomolov Jr., in their first-round clash.

World No. 4 and 2008 finalist Andy Murray opened his US Open campaign on Monday at Flushing Meadows with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. The match was delayed in starting due to a two-hour rain delay in New York.

Both players struggled to settle after the storm subsided, with two service breaks exchanged at the start of the match. Murray hit his stride, though, and reeled off four straight games to take the opener. However, he struggled to subdue Bogomolov Jr., and was forced to rally from a break down before clinching a two-set lead. He went onto claim victory in two hours and 15 minutes.

"Only lost seven games in three sets, so I must have done something well today," reflected Murray. "I played fairly well from the back of the court. I just would have liked to have served a bit better because I wasn't getting many free points on my serve. Because of that, there were a lot more rallies. When he's in a rhythm, he's tough to break down."

The 25-year-old Murray finished runner-up to Roger Federer in his first major final at the US Open in 2008 and was a semi-finalist last year, losing out to Rafael Nadal. The Dunblane native is bidding to win his first Grand Slam championship after losing in his fourth final at Wimbledon in June (l. to Federer).

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Murray goes onto face Croatian Ivan Dodig, who wasted no time in dismissing Japan’s Hiroki Moriya 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 40 minutes. The No. 118-ranked Dodig claimed his first tour-level win since reaching the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club in June (l. to Querrey) and will play Murray for the first time.

"For me it's great," said Dodig, looking ahead to his next match. "I will be really, really happy to play on a big court. I have some experience with some other guys, but with him it's the first time for me... Of course it's going to be tough, but I have to focus on my game and try to play my best on the court."

Dodig has a 3-10 record against Top 10 players and claimed his biggest victory against a No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal last year at the Rogers Cup in Canada, where he prevailed 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

Japan’s No. 17 seed Kei Nishikori made a strong start, defeating Argentine Guido Andreozzi 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, also in a time of one hour and 40 minutes. The 22 year old reached the fourth round in New York four years ago (l. to del Potro), but achieved his best Grand Slam result when he advanced to the Australian Open quarter-finals in January (l. to Murray).

Nishikori, one of an Open Era record four Japanese men playing in the US Open main draw, goes onto face Tim Smyczek. The 179th-ranked Smyczek prevailed in an all-American clash with Bobby Reynolds 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to record his first Grand Slam win.

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US Open, New York, Ivan Dodig, Andy Murray

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