Third-seeded Briton Andy Murray put on a composed display to overcome the mercurial Nick Kyrgios 7-5 6-3 4-6 6-1 under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights to reach the second round of the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Kyrgios showed off his powerful serve and groundstrokes but the 37th-ranked Australian frequently substituted efficiency for showmanship and failed to take advantage of his numerous opportunities.
Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open champion and 2013 Wimbledon winner, played straight man to the flippant Australian, who unnecessarily tried ‘tweener’ shots through his legs and jumped extravagantly on routine forehands that he buried into the net.
The Australian, playing under an ATP Tour probation for crude personal comments made to Stan Wawrinka during a match in Montreal last month, should have made the contest much closer but could only convert three of 14 break point opportunities.
The Scotsman had beaten Kyrgios in straight sets in their three previous meetings, eliminating him this year from two other grand slams, in the Australian quarter-finals and third round of the French Open.
“He’s unpredictable, he can play all of the shots and he’s a fantastic athlete,” Murray said in an on-court interview with ESPN. “It was a very tricky match and I just fought hard and managed to get through.”
Murray will next play French left-hander Adrian Mannarino, a 7-6 6-4 6-1 winner over Russian Konstantin Kravchuk.