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TENNIS - US OPEN

Murray and Fish break French hopes

3 min

Briton Andy Murray had a hard time in the second stage of the US Open, beating Frenchman Michael Llodra in four sets, while US player Mardy Fish needed 27 aces to win against Paul-Henri Mathieu. Rafael Nadal easily trounced Ryler DeHeart.

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Andy Murray dug deep to beat Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-4 1-6 7-5 7-6 to reach the third round of the U.S. Open on Thursday, but refused to get ahead of himself as he bids for a first grand-slam title.

The sixth-seeded Briton saved two set points in the fourth-set tiebreak before winning it 9-7 to advance to a clash with Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

Having won his first Masters Series title in Cincinnati earlier this month, Murray has been talked up as a contender to win the U.S. Open but the 21-year-old said he had learned a hard lesson when it came to looking too far ahead.

"In the past, for me, if you do start doing that it doesn't work out particularly well," Murray told reporters.

"The guys that I'm playing are not guys that I'm 100 percent expected to beat. If there's a chance I can lose the match, you're going to take it very seriously.

"There's no point in looking ahead. You understand what's going on in the draw and which half of the draw you're in, and where the top seeds are.

"But it doesn't make me start looking into semis, quarter-finals, because I only made the quarter-finals of a slam once (at Wimbledon this year).

"I'm not good enough to be able to do that."

RESTORES ADVANTAGE

One break was enough to give Murray the first set but in the second set, his second serve fell short too often and Llodra, who has won two ATP events this year, attacked it to great effect, breaking twice to level the match.

World number 38 Llodra then had three break points in the opening game of the third set but Murray held on and then broke in the 12th game to restore his advantage.

Murray, who reached the fourth round in 2006, twice recovered from a break down in the fourth set to force a tiebreak but Llodra had two chances to take the match to a decider.

The Scot saved the first one with a measured forehand pass and Llodra netted a forehand on the second one, before Murray clinched victory two points later.

"I was very happy with the match," Murray said, having hit just 13 unforced errors to 46 for the Frenchman.

"I thought I hit the ball from the back of the court very well. I didn't feel like I was making many mistakes from the baseline.

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