Defending champion Andy Murray ground his way past Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open where he will face Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka. Briton Murray struggled to get out of the blocks in the first set and trailed 5-3 after two forehand errors handed Istomin the break.
Although Murray immediately broke back, he lost out in the tiebreak, with a double fault and a slice into the net allowing Istomin to serve out the set. After levelling the match, the Scotsman displayed some clear signs of frustration in the third set but finally took control by breaking Istomin in a marathon seventh game after the enterprising Uzbek had saved three break points.
There was never any doubt from then as the Wimbledon champion wrapped up the match in a little over three hours. Murray said the cool and slightly gusty conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium were a factor in his slow start to the night match.
"It was definitely tough. It's pretty breezy out there. Quite a strong breeze. Both of us were struggling with our timing early on," he said. "I thought we played some entertaining points. Sometimes when it's windy like that, you get some fun points. "I just started trying to dictate the points. I tried to use my forehand a little bit more," he added.