US Open 2020: Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Dan Evans bidding to reach third round

2020 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York. Dates: 31 Aug-13 Sept
Coverage: Selected live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sounds, the BBC Sport website and app.

Andy Murray is aiming to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2017 when he takes on Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the US Open.

Three-time major champion Murray, 33, is one of three Britons in second-round action on day four at Flushing Meadows in New York, along with British number ones Johanna Konta and Dan Evans.

Konta, who beat compatriot Heather Watson in the first round, plays Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, before Evans takes on France’s Corentin Moutet.

Both Cirstea and Moutet are ranked 77th in the women’s and men’s world rankings respectively.

Murray played his first Grand Slam match in 20 months on Tuesday when he fought back from two sets and a break down to beat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in a match that lasted four hours 39 minutes.

“That was by far the most tennis I’ve played since the Aussie Open in 2019,” said Murray, who is back playing after career-saving hip surgery.

“I went in and asked to use the ice bath as soon as I got into the locker room and thankfully they allowed it because I needed it.

“One of the benefits of being old as an athlete is that I have experience playing those sorts of matches and things I can do to help me recover better. I know I’ll need to get an early night’s sleep and try and sleep as much as I can.”

From watching Murray at the US Open to playing him

Auger-Aliassime, 20, was also involved in a long first-round match as his four-set win over Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro involved three tie-breaks and lasted just short of four hours.

Afterwards, the Canadian recalled being at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2011 as an 11-year-old and watching Murray beat Feliciano Lopez in the third round.

“I was just a kid. We got tickets for Arthur Ashe Stadium,” he said.

“Andy was playing Lopez in the night match. That was a big memory of mine. I was actually live here.

“It’s crazy to feel there’s not going to be a kid in the stadium watching, it’s actually going to be me playing. Yeah, so it’s a nice feeling.

“It’s an honour to face up with a guy like Andy and good to see him playing good again and healthy.”

Andy Murray
Andy Murray won the US Open title in 2012 – when Felix Auger-Aliassime was 12

Auger-Aliassime is 21st in the world rankings and Murray believes he has a bright future.

“He hits a big ball and moves well. I hit with him once in Beijing last year,” added the Scot.

“He’s getting up to the top of the game and quite obviously likes playing on the hard courts. He’s had some struggles with his serve and that’s something I’ll look to capitalise on.

“But he’s a top young player and will have an excellent career. He’s been really good since he was very young. Physically, he’s a fantastic mover, a good athlete – he’s developed fast.”

British number ones looking to progress

Ninth seed Konta, 29, will be the first of the Britons in action (approximately 19:00 BST on Thursday) on court five.

Her match with Cirstea will revive memories of their controversial Fed Cup encounter in Constanta in February 2017, when the Romanian accused the Briton of gamesmanship for leaving the court when captain Ilie Nastase was sent off after swearing at the umpire and abusing Konta and British captain Anne Keothavong.

Konta then defeated Cirstea in straight sets in Eastbourne four months later.

Evans, 30, plays immediately after Konta on the same court and is hoping to join fellow Briton Cameron Norrie in the third round.

“It’s good for British tennis,” said the 23rd seed. “We’ve been pretty close to having quite a few through to the second and third rounds recently – it’s great.”

Murray’s match takes place on Arthur Ashe Stadium around 02:00 BST on Friday.

source: BBC sports/tennis

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