Andy Murray defeats Emilio Nava in New York | ATP Tour

Andy Murray had a lot to think about early in his second round duel against #NextGenATP American Emilio Nava In the US Open on Wednesday, but the former world No. 1 raised his level to prevail 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-0 to advance to the third round in New York.

Nava, 20, grabbed a lung-crushing 84-minute opening set with a stunning forehand pass to put pressure on his experienced opponent, but Murray bided his time and began to break up the Nava game with some consistent baseline shots Arthur Ashe Stadion. The 2012 champions have won 14 of their last 15 games and reached the third round in New York for the first time in six years.

“I think I started taking over the ball a little bit more,” Murray said in his on-court interview when asked how he turned the game around. “He dictated a lot of points in the first set. Once I started hitting the ball a little bigger, a little deeper, I got better control over the points.

“He (Nava) also played a really long first round match, a five-setter game against him John Millman. I think that’s the first five-setter he’s played so it’s not always that easy to recover and I think his level dropped a bit in the third and fourth sets. But he is a brilliant young player and he will have a very bright future.”

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Murray had won just one of four games on the North American hard court when he came into the game US Openbut he knocked down the 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets in the opening round and Wednesday’s win over Nava improved the 35-year-old’s record to 48-14 at Flushing Meadows. Murray has beaten 11 fewer winners than world No. 203 Nava (22 to 33) but the Brit believes his brand defense is as much a weapon as his ability to beat winners over these two weeks in New York.

“Physically, this is the best I’ve felt in years. My movement is by far the best in a long time. It’s always been a very important part of my game and especially now that a lot of guys are hitting a huge ball you have to be able to defend well. I feel like I’m doing this right now, I’m getting closer to where I want to be and hopefully I can have a deep run here.

The win moves Murray up to No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, his highest mark since May 2018. The Brit will meet at No. 13 next Matteo Berretiniwho also recovered from dropping the opening set in his second round match and prevailed for a 2-6 6-1 7-6(4) 7-6(7) win over the Frenchman Hugo Grenier.

2019 semi-finalist Berrettini racked up 74 wins to Grenier’s 30 in his three-hour, 25-minute triumph in the stands and Murray is well aware of the Italian’s power after clinching the seven-time Tour title list on the pitch in Stuttgart fell in June.

“He’s had a pretty unlucky year to be honest,” Berrettini’s Murray said. “I know he got Covid in the beginning Wimbledon having just won Stuttgart and Queens back to back… I think he had a wrist injury so he pretty much missed the entire clay court season that year too but when he was on the court he was really, really good.

“We played in the Stuttgart final, a tough three-set game so I expect it to be really difficult, but if I play well and my return is spot on then I have a good chance.”

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