NEW YORK (Reuters) - Andy Murray is so intent on ending the British grand slam drought that after racing through a straight-sets, second-round win on Friday he went directly to the practice courts for more work.
Murray said the points ended so quickly in his 7-5 6-3 6-0 demolition of go-for-broke Jamaican slugger Dustin Brown that he needed to put in time on his groundstrokes to bolster his pursuit of Britain’s first men’s slam title in 74 years.
“No rallies,” the 23-year-old Murray said about the 85-minute victory on Arthur Ashe center court. “Probably two rallies in the match that went past eight, nine shots.
“So I just went out and hit for 45 minutes just to get a bit of a rhythm. Hit a lot of balls.”
The Scot, one of the best in the game at return of serve, had trouble deciphering the service deliveries of the rangy, 6-foot, 5-inch (1.96 meter) Brown at the start of the match.
“I’ve not really ever seen him play before,” he said about the animated Brown. “He has very fast service action, so it took a few games to start to read the serve a little bit.
Murray cashed in finally in the 12th game of the first set, averting a tiebreaker by breaking the Jamaican before racing on to victory with the loss of just three more games.
Facing an all-out hitting assault from his 123rd-ranked opponent, Murray said he focused on playing a solid game.
“When you play as high-risk tennis as that, it’s difficult over five sets to keep it up,” reasoned Murray. “So I just needed to keep making a lot of balls, keep putting returns in play.”
Brown was cheered on loudly, not surprising for New York which loves an underdog and has a large Jamaican community.
“I kind of knew what to expect coming into the match,” said Murray. “I’ve been told he likes to put on a bit of a show. The crowd, obviously, enjoy watching that.
Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Frank Pingue