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Murray Survives Cramps & Haase To Advance; Kyrgios Ousts Youzhny

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAn anguished Andy Murray battled cramps in his first-round win.

Battling inexplicable cramps and a wily Robin Haase, 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray was forced to draw on all his reserves to advance to the second round Monday with a 6-3, 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-5 victory.

In his on-court interview with Sky Sports, Murray admitted, “I don’t know what it was. I was cramping after one hour and 45 minutes. I didn’t know what to do in the third set. I started to get it in my laterals and forearms when I was serving. I didn’t know whether to conserve energy or try to finish it. 

“I tried to hang around and tried to play without using my legs much. I managed to get through. These slams are physically challenging, but I need to work out why it happened. It shouldn’t have happened, regardless of the temperature.”

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The 27-year-old Murray trailed 1-4 in the fourth set and Haase had the chance to force a decider serving at 5-3, but was unable to close it out. The ailing Murray broke in the 11th game before serving out victory in three hours and eight minutes.

"It's the worst I have ever felt after an hour and a half of a tennis match," Murray said. "I felt extremely good before the match, and I did train very, very hard to get ready for the tournament. For me it was unexpected, and therefore, quite difficult mentally to deal with. When it starts to kind of go everywhere, you don't know exactly where it's going to creep up next. When you stretch one muscle, something else then cramps, too."

The Scot is chasing his third Grand Slam championship at Flushing Meadows over the next fortnight, having also triumphed at Wimbledon last year (d. Djokovic) to add to his 2012 US Open victory (d. Djokovic).

Murray goes on to face Matthias Bachinger, who dismissed Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios held on for a 7-5, 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(1) victory over 21st seed Mikhail Youzhny. The 19 year old, who made his major breakthrough when he stunned Rafael Nadal to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals (l. to Raonic), trailed by a break in the fourth set, but recovered to claim victory in just over three hours. Victory makes him the first teenager since Novak Djokovic in 2006 to beat seeded players at back-to-back Grand Slam championships.

"It was a tough first match playing Youzhny, someone that's played well here in the past and last year making the quarter-finals," said Kyrgios. "I knew I had to serve well, and I hit 26 aces. Those are good stats. I was struggling a little bit about the two-and-a-half hour mark, but I knew that if I hung in I would get that second wind where I could start playing good tennis again. That's what happened in the fourth set.

"I'm probably expecting a lot out of myself at these sort of tournaments. I have to know I'm still young and it's a long journey. I have to just be patient. I think it's good to have high expectations, as well."

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Kyrgios, who had played just two matches since his Wimbledon run coming into the US Open, qualified into the main draw last year before losing to David Ferrer. For a place in the third round, the No. 60-ranked Canberra native will challenge Andreas Seppi, a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 winner over Sergiy Stakhovsky.

A second Australian advanced as Matthew Ebden claimed his fourth Grand Slam main draw win by beating Tobias Kamke 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(2). He set a second-round clash with Leonardo Mayer

In an all-French affair, Benoit Paire ousted No. 24 seed Julien Benneteau 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in just over four hours.

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