• US Open, Day One

Murray wins ugly, but is it enough?

Alex Livie August 27, 2012
The serve was not sharp, but Andy Murray had enough quality to take out Alex Bogomolov Jr © PA Photos
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Winning when playing badly is the hallmark of a champion, or so the saying goes. If that's the case, then Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic may as well pack up and head home as the US Open is in the bag for Andy Murray.

A 6-2 6-4 6-1 scoreline suggests it was a stroll in the park for Murray against Alex Bogomolov Jr. Nothing could be further from the truth, it was pretty bad, and thankfully Murray is seeded No. 3 which hands him the kind of opening challenge he faced at the US Open. At times, Murray produced the sort of play that a park hacker would be unhappy with but he was able to get the job done as Bogomolov Jr could not.

"I did okay," Murray said. He got through, which is the sole aim in round one, so okay probably is an okay conclusion to make.

But he did add: "I was struggling on serve for the majority of the match but I managed to come through. I would have loved to play better but they were tricky conditions with the wind."

A first serve percentage of 28% in the opening set would suggest they were playing in a gale. The wind was blowing, but not to that extent.

Murray did not appear to have any spring in his serve. At one stage he sent down a second-serve fault at 78mph. That may sound fast if you're driving car, but it's not when you are trying to dictate play on a tennis court. His problems on serve combined with some sloppy mistakes on both wings and at one stage a shanked volley error that a beginner would not make made for grim viewing at times.

But he got the job done and towards the end of the third set he showed flashes of the form that took him to Olympic gold.

A grand slam is all about peaking in the second week and the draw would appear to suggest that Murray is not going to face any sort of challenge until Milos Rionic emerges on the horizon in the fourth round. He has time to iron out the problems, including the bout of cramp that struck midway through the third set, but he will have to iron them out as this sort of display would have been pounced on by a top-ten player.

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Alex Livie was editor of ESPN.co.uk