Murray, Venus grind out wins at steamy U.S. Open
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some busy bees made life difficult for two grizzled veterans and a pair of favorites were forced to work extra hard on a steamy opening day at the U.S. Open on Monday.
Eighth-seeded 2012 champion Andy Murray fought off cramps to beat Dutchman Robin Haase in four painful sets, while women's second seed Simona Halep lost a first-set tiebreak to U.S. debutante Danielle Collins before claiming victory.
And in a fascinating match-up between 19th seed Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, the oldest players in the women's draw, some pesky bees joined in and refused to leave them alone.
Murray looked on his way to an easy victory before he fell victim to cramps that left him stretching and straining to get comfortable before clinching a 6-3 7-6 (6) 1-6 7-5 victory over Haase.
"I felt extremely good before the match, and I did train very, very hard to get ready for the tournament," said Murray, one of the fittest players on the ATP Tour.
"My quads were cramping, then it started to get to my lats, then my forearms," he added. "I just tried to hang around and at the end I was trying to play without moving my legs much and managed to get through.”
Murray said he might consult with a nutritionist before meeting his second-round opponent, Germany's Matthias Bachinger.
A less serious intrusion bugged the irresistible women's match between seven-times grand slam singles winner Venus Williams and Japan's remarkable Kimiko Date-Krumm, who were beset by bees. Continued...