Andy Murray defeated Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the 2013 U.S. Open on Friday, but it took him four sets to do so against the determined Argentinian, 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
Both competitors went back and forth early on before Murray captured a contentious first set, 7-5.
Murray won the first game off Mayer's backhand unforced error, Mayer won the second game off Murray's backhand forced error, Murray won the third game off Mayer's backhand unforced error and Mayer won the fourth game off a forehand volley.
Murray then won the fifth game off Mayer's forehand unforced error, Mayer won the sixth game off a forehand winner, Murray won the seventh game off Mayer's forehand forced error and Mayer won the eighth game off a forehand smash winner.
The grueling set continued, as Mayer lost the ninth game off a backhand forced error, won the 10th game off Murray's backhand forced error, lost the 11th game off Murray's backhand volley winner and lost the 12th game off his own forehand unforced error.
The first set lasted 54 minutes. Murray won 78 percent of first-serve points and 65 percent of second-serve points, but captured an uncharacteristic 35 percent of return points, via USOpen.org.
Mayer managed to notch 14 winners, but hurt himself with 22 unforced errors in the first set alone.
The sour ending to the first set for Mayer appeared to trickle over, as Murray won the first three games of the second set. He won the first set off Mayer's forehand forced error, the second game off Mayer's backhand volley forced error and the third game off a forehand winner.
Mayer bounced back to take the fourth game of the set off Murray's forehand smash unforced error, but Murray came right back to take the fifth game off Mayer's forehand forced error.
Murray went on to win the next two games of the set to take a two-set advantage, 7-5, 6-1.
Murray took the second set in a more comfortable 35 minutes. He won 78 percent of first-serve points, 82 percent of second-serve points and 55 percent of return points, via USOpen.org.
Mayer was determined not to go down without a fight, though. The 26-year-old Argentinian won the first three games of the third set, threatening to take the set and make it a match.
After Murray won two of the next three games, the Brit was on the verge of winning another game with a 40-15 advantage before Mayer stormed back and won the game to take a 5-2 lead in the set.
The challenger eventually won the third set, 6-3.
Mayer won 89 percent of first-serve points and 75 percent of net points while posting 16 winners and five aces to capture the third set.
The official Twitter account of the U.S. Open analyzed the action:
Murray was able to regain his composure and take control in the fourth set, though.
The defending U.S. Open champion only lost the second game of the third set, taking it, 6-1.
Ultimately, Mayer did some things that frustrated Murray. He notched 39 winners and six aces in the match.
But you aren't going to win many matches when you commit 49 unforced errors (that's not a typo).
For the match, Murray won 67 percent of first-serve points, 76 percent of second-serve points and 65 percent of net points, while posting five aces to three double faults.
It wasn't exactly smooth-sailing for the Brit, as the match lasted 2 hours 41 minutes, but he ultimately got the job done. He's going to have to improve on the level of play he showed against Mayer, if he wants to repeat his title hopes in this year's U.S. Open.