Andy Murray cruised to a straight-set victory over Michael Llodra in the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open on Wednesday, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
The first set went as expected for Murray. The world No. 3 won 87 percent of first-serve points and eight of 10 net points while notching one ace and 11 winners, per USOpen.org. He committed zero unforced errors as he won the first set in a mere 26 minutes.
Llodra came out firing in the second set, though, opening up a 3-0 lead as he posted seven winners and one ace to one unforced error while capturing 86 percent of first-serve points and five of six return points.
But it wasn't long before Murray got his footing back. Murray sprang back to life, winning six of the next seven games to take the second set over the exasperated Frenchman, 6-4.
The turning point? In the seventh game of the set, with the score knotted up at 3-3, Llodra was one point away from taking a 4-3 set lead, but Murray battled back from a 40-love deficit to take the game.
He didn't look back.
Llodra managed to take another early lead in the third set—winning the first game of the set—but Murray bounced back again, winning the next three games to take a 3-1 lead. Llodra battled with Murray down the stretch from there, but ultimately lost the third and final set, 6-3. That included trying an underhand serve in the final game of the set.
For the match, Murray won 78 percent of first-serve points and 73 percent of net points while posting 34 winners and three aces, via USOpen.org. Llodra won just 26 percent of return points while committing six double faults and 29 unforced errors.
Murray showed how dangerous he is these days in his dismantling of Llodra. There is no question another Grand Slam singles title is within reach for the defending U.S. Open champion.
Llodra came into the 2013 U.S. Open as the No. 49 player in the world. He had gone 12-10 in singles play. He was also 0-3 lifetime against Murray, last falling to the 26-year-old at the 2012 Australian Open.
Coming into this year's U.S. Open, Murray was 37-7 with four singles titles. After defeating Roger Federer at the 2012 London Olympics and beating Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open last year, he defeated Djokovic at Wimbledon this year.
By the way, before the match had even started on Wednesday night, Murray and Llodra had made a bit of history.
SI.com's Beyond The Baseline tweeted before the match:
From USTA: Tonight’s start time of 9:55 p.m. Murray-Llodra match is the third-latest start for a US Open Night Session in recorded history.— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) August 29, 2013