Murray breezes on, Hurricane Earl a no-show

Fri Sep 3, 2010 11:03pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Andy Murray need not have worried. The forecasters got it wrong on both fronts at the U.S. Open on Friday.

While the wind picked up and there were a few fleeting drops of rain that caused a stoppage in play, Hurricane Earl never quite made an appearance at Flushing Meadows.

But Murray's second-round opponent, an unorthodox Jamaican he knew little about and was warned to expect the unexpected, did show up on center court but also ran out of puff.

Friday was not a day for the underdogs. They gave the seeds moments of trouble but the big names in action all prevailed.

Venus Williams, wearing a sparkling evening dress that would not have been out of place at a Manhattan cocktail party, trounced qualifier Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-1 6-2 before joining her sister Serena in a mock interview with the host television broadcaster.

The defending women's champion Kim Clijsters reeled off 12 games in a row to win her match with Czech Petra Kvitova while French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and grand slam finalists Elena Dementieva and Samantha Stosur cruised to straight-set wins.

With his dreadlocked hair, sleeveless shirt and baggy shorts, Dustin Brown was an instant hit with the Arthur Ashe crowd but apart from a few fleeting moments in the first set, he was blown away, the Briton winning 7-5 6-3 6-0.

Murray, fearing the heavens might open at any time if the predicted wild weather arrived, did his best to finish the match as quickly as he could but ended up hitting the practice courts again because he wanted another workout.   Continued...

<p>Andy Murray of Britain (L) is congratulated by Dustin Brown after their match during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>