Andy Murray races past Llodra in late US Open match

US Open champion complains about late-night scheduling as match is pushed back

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 3:01am


Defending champion Andy Murray raced into the US Open second round before hitting out at the late-night scheduling which he described as "not ideal".

Third-seeded Murray, who snapped Britain's 76-year wait for a men's grand slam champion when he triumphed in New York last year, needed just 98 minutes to get past 33-year-old Frenchman Michael Llodra, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

But the match only got underway at 9.55pm (9.55am Hong Kong time yesterday) - the third-latest ever start for a US Open night session - after a four-hour rain suspension earlier in the day caused havoc with the schedule.

As a result, Murray found himself playing his opener 48 hours after second seed and title favourite Rafael Nadal had completed his first round on Monday.

"I think playing at that time for your first round is not ideal," said Murray. "Just because I won last year, it's nothing to do with that. It's just for the guys that have to play this evening, and you have guys that have two days off between matches.

"When the weather was like it was going to be, we were asked on Saturday: Would you like to play on Tuesday or Wednesday? We said, Tuesday. They then told us the next day, 'It's looking like it's going to be Wednesday'.

"OK, cool. It will be during the day on Wednesday. Yesterday as we were leaving at 3pm we were told it's looking like you're going to be playing in the evening. It just changes your preparation for the match."

Murray said he had no fear that he would end up playing his first round on Thursday.

"I thought we were going to get on this evening. I just thought maybe we would have been on another court," he added.

"When the weather is like that, it's distressing for everyone, for the referees, the organisers, for the players. You just want to get on the court and play."

When he finally got on court on Wednesday night, he quickly made up for lost time.

Murray hit 34 winners against just five unforced errors, while Llodra committed 29 unforced errors.

Murray, who has played in the finals of the last four grand slam tournaments in which he has competed, goes on to face Argentina's Leonardo Mayer for a place in the last 32.

Mayer is 81 in the world and reached the third round in New York last year.