Andy Murray in the first round of the 2022 US Open, New York
Andy Murray in the first round of the 2022 US Open, New York | (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Tennis | US Open 2022 | Murray ousts Cerundolo in landmark win, faces wildcard Nava next

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Andy Murray def Francisco Cerundolo [24] 7-5 6-3 6-3
  • Murray v Emilio Nava [WC] | H2H: First Meeting
NEW YORK, USA – Andy Murray earned his first straight sets win at a Grand Slam for five years after defeating Francisco Cerundolo to reach the second round at the US Open, where he will face Emilio Nava.

 

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Andy Murray def Francisco Cerundolo [24] 7-5 6-3 6-3

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Andy Murray won a straight sets match at a Grand Slam for the first time in five years after beating Francisco Cerundolo. The Brit took control of most of the opening set but had to do it from a break down after a gruelling seven minute opening game went the Argentinian’s way.

Murray was unfazed though by Cerundolo’s power from the back of the court as he impressed on return and used some good angles to create the space in the court. The Brit was clinical from all areas of the court as he broke twice and sealed four games in a row for a commanding 4-1 lead. Despite the deficit, Cerundolo applied consistent pressure on serve with some good patterns of play and effective point construction as he waited for errors from Murray.

Those errors came in the ninth game as Murray couldn’t close out the opening set as he produced a catastrophic game and handed the break back to the Argentinian. The tenth game was the most dramatic game of the match as Murray believed that he should have been awarded a point for Cerundolo hitting the ball after it bounced twice. The umpire didn’t give it despite it being shown on the big screen with the crowd booing, but that didn’t matter as the 24th seed showed great sportsmanship to hand the Brit the point.

That gave Murray 0-30 for the break back but Cerundolo elevated his game to a new level and would hold with some clutch play to level the set at 5-5. The opening set was a brutal 65 minute affair which saw Murray break in the twelfth game thanks to a double fault from the Argentinian. A significant moment in the match and potentially the tournament as the Brit’s improvement in fitness was evident.

From that moment onwards, Murray dominated the match producing powerful baseline tennis and smart use of the court which Cerundolo couldn’t match. The Brit went up a double break in both sets as he seemingly was cruising to victory. In both sets though the Brit failed to close out the set in the first instance as he once again lacked intensity in his play and that is something he will look to improve as the tournament goes on.

However Murray served out the second set at the second time of asking and in the third set broke straight back to seal his place in the second round. A nice embrace at the net followed as Murray realised that the act of sportsmanship from Cerundolo in the opening set shouldn’t be taken for granted as the Brit looks ahead to tougher challenges.

 

Andy Murray v Emilio Nava [WC] H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Andy Murray v Emilio Nava [WC] H2H: First Meeting
US Open 2022 New York, USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $121,000
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Murray will now face American wildcard Emilio Nava in the second round after he defeated John Millman in five sets.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2022)

H2H: Andy Murray (WR 51) Emilio Nava (WR 201)
Tournament Previous Best Champion (2012) R1 (2021)
1st Serve % 60 56.8
Service Games Won % 80.8 70
Break Points Saved % 57.3 56.3
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 54.9 46.3
Break Points Converted % 39 34.2

Murray is dominant in every area heading into this match but will be aware of Nava’s efficiency in saving break points.

 

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Playing styles and prediction

Nava has produced good results on the challenger circuit on clay this season but has yet to translate that success on the hard courts. The American will be hoping his five set win over Millman can give him confidence to push on and produce an impressive performance against Murray.

Murray will look to be consistent from the baseline and outmanoeuvre his opponent, who will benefit from the slower conditions this year. This match will be the real test as to where Murray is in terms of form and fitness but if the Brit produces the same level as he did against Cerundolo and is attack-minded, then he should come through comfortably.

Prediction: Murray in four sets.

 

Casper Ruud [5] def Kyle Edmund [PR] 6-3 7-5 6-2

As Murray has a second round match to look forward to, Kyle Edmund is organizing his flight back home after a positive performance against Casper Ruud which ultimately ended in a straight sets defeat. Edmund played well in parts and produced a resilient comeback in the second set.

Ultimately Ruud’s consistency and power was too much for the Brit who will now be planning his next set of tournaments as he gets used to regular life on the tour again.

 

 

 

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