FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Olympic champion Andy Murray gutted out a four-set win over Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4) in a third round contest on Saturday at the US Open.
The Scotsman who is seeded third said it was a difficult match. “Yeah, it was tough,” said Murray. “Obviously very, very hot, very humid. It’s a quick court, that one, as well. You know, obviously Feliciano has one of the best serves in the game. So there’s some games, you know, that were frustrating at times because you have no say in how the points go. Obviously, I mean, the last few sets were tough. I mean, I just played a little bit better at the end of the tiebreaks, a little bit more solid than him, and that was the difference. But, you know, had chances. So mentally it was quite a challenging match because I was up a break I think in the last three ‑‑ two of the last three sets.”
It was a hot and humid day in New York City and Murray was up to the task. “It was physically challenging,” said Murray. “I actually felt better towards the end of the match than I did maybe halfway through it. I think it was probably down to a combination of things, you know, having not played that much in these conditions. It’s just taking a while to get used to it. Normally we get that three‑week training block in Miami before we come over to the States. Because of the Olympics, obviously missed that. So it’s been tough.”
The victory marks Murray’s 250th career match win on hardcourts. The match lasted three hours and 53 minutes. It was also his 10th straight win over over a left-handed player. The last southpaw he lost to was Rafael Nadal in last year’s US Open semifinal.
“This was the first match I had played in this humidity for a while so it was tough,” Murray said. “I would like to be in slightly better form but these matches have helped with that.”
Lopez had issue with some line calls and the chair umpire for not allowing him to question a call that might have given him a break of serve in the 10th game of the second set. The umpire, Jake Garner said it was too late.
“You didn’t watch me at all. You didn’t see,” Lopez said very angrily. “It was so clear. I challenged immediately. It’s a very important point. You will see on TV.”
Murray moved on to the round of 16 where he’ll face Canadian Milos Raonic who defeated American James Blake.