Andy Murray continued the defence of his US Open crown with a convincing 7-6(2) 6-2 6-2 win over Florian Mayer at Flushing Meadows. Despite the hot conditions on the Arthur Ashe show court, Murray was hardly troubled in a match which lasted just less than two hours in New York.
Murray began strongly, immediately forcing break point in the very first game of the match - even finding time to argue with the line judge. Mayer recovered, though, and came through unscathed as he eventually held serve in a first exchange which lasted six minutes.
Neither player seemed to give an inch on their own serve, as Murray levelled before Mayer this time held to love. While not at his rhythmic best, Murray held on to Mayer's service onslaught to force the tie-break.
The German's hard work came unstuck as a wide return gave Murray the mini-break. Brief resistance came when Mayer produced a pinpoint backhand winner, but Murray tidied up effectively to edge into the lead.
With the first set in the bag, Murray appeared to have settled on Arthur Ashe and was soon a break up in the second; after a routine hold, Mayer found the net with his backhand and the damage was done.
Mayer was almost gifted a way back into the set as Murray double faulted to set up break point, but the world No. 3 recovered well to maintain his lead. Just shy of 90 minutes out on court, Murray showed the difference in class with two powerful returns before taking the second set when his opponent sent his volley long of the baseline.
The third set proved more of a procession for the Brit; this time the break came in the fourth game as a deft backhand volley earned Murray a chance to put the match beyond reach. Another winner followed and Murray was in firm control, holding his serve with comfortable ease.
Mayer delayed the inevitable at the first attempt, but Murray was back in business following a solid hold of serve to move within a game for the match.
This time his opponent faltered, sending a tired return into the net and leaving Murray to punch the air in delight at reaching the fourth round.
"He's a very tricky opponent, he plays a lot of strange shots," Murray told Sky Sports. "At the end of the first set and for the second set it was extremely hot. We've been told the sun is coming so hopefully that will take away some of the humidity over the next few days. I feel a lot more comfortable coming into these events than I did this time last year."
Murray will now face Denis Istomin.
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