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Murray's Mayer Challenge; Berdych Holds Off Kudla

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray needed four sets to get through his second-round match.

Defending champion Andy Murray took care of one Mayer on Friday, defeating Argentine Leonardo Mayer 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, and next meets German Florian Mayer for a place in the fourth round of the US Open.

After a straightforward opener against Michael Llodra, Murray came under pressure in the third set Friday, facing seven break points and losing his first service game. He regrouped and came back strong in a 32-minute fourth set, limiting Mayer to three winners, compared to 36 over the first three sets.

"I didn't feel like I served as well today as I did in the first match," said Murray. "Different court, different conditions during the day.

"I finished the match well today. I played well when I needed to. That's a good sign. Obviously I want to keep improving as the tournament goes on. You don't want to play your best right at the beginning, so I hope I can get better."

The World No. 3 has won 22 of his past 23 Grand Slam matches, with titles at the US Open and Wimbledon, and is looking to reach his fourth straight major final.

Murray has won his previous two meetings against his next opponent, but both meetings have come on clay. The German advanced earlier Friday with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over American Donald Young.

BerdychWorld No. 5 Tomas Berdych was made to work hard for his second-round win, battling past American Denis Kudla 7-6(3), 7-6(3), 6-3 at Flushing Meadows. 

Berdych prevailed in two hours and 45 minutes, losing serve four times, but responding with five service breaks of his own. He committed 47 unforced errors, but was aided by 59 mistakes from Kudla’s racquet. It was his first meeting with the No. 104-ranked American.

"It was not easy at all. He made me work pretty hard today," said Berdych. "His game is quite well suited for the hard court. He plays a lot of flat balls. I prefer a bit when the ball jumps higher. Then I can use my weapons a little bit more. I had never played him before, so that's also not easy. It was very important that I made both of the sets, tight in the tie-break. Then I was able to step up and I was fresher than him and just took the third set."

The 27-year-old Berdych was a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows last year, beating Roger Federer in the quarter-finals before losing to Murray. He is on a quarter-final collision course with the Scot this year as he looks to reach his second Grand Slam final. The Czech was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2010 (l. to Nadal).

Berdych goes on to face No. 31 seed Julien Benneteau, who won an all-French contest with Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours. Berdych leads Benneteau 2-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

American Tim Smyczek reached the third round of a major for the first time as he overcame Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 3-6, 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 109th-ranked Milwaukee native will face Marcel Granollers for a place in the fourth round. The Spaniard prevailed in five sets for a second straight match, rallying from two sets down to beat American Rajeev Ram 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5. 

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