Andy Murray of the UK Routs Sergio Roitman
By Dana Czapnik
Monday, August 25, 2008
Fan favorite Andy Murray knocked out the 29-year-old Argentinean Sergio Roitman in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in their first round match at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The 21 year old from Great Britain is making his 4th straight US Open appearance and has entered this year’s tournament with his highest ever ranking as number 6 in the world. Murray reached his first quarterfinal in a Slam at this year’s Wimbledon by defeating Richard Gasquet before falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
This is only Roitman’s second US Open tournament. He made a first round exit at his debut at the tournament last year.
Murray looked sharp throughout the match with Roitman, who is ranked 107. Whenever he seemed to be struggling or experiencing a lapse in concentration he was able to knock out an ace, which proved to be his most valuable weapon against Roitman.
The first set of the match opened with the young Brit predictably holding serve. Murray then immediately broke Roitman’s serve to take an early lead.
Roitman was able to hold serve to bring the score to 3-1 in the first set after Murray seemed to lose concentration. At one point, Murray lost control of his backhand and hit the chair umpire with an errant shot.
But Murray returned to his comfort zone with his service game and notched his first ace of the match, clocking in at 114 mph to hold serve.
Roitman showed off his powerful forehand and tough-to-return one-handed backhand to hold serve and bring the score to 4-2, but he had no answers for Murray’s powerful service game. Murray easily took a 5-2 lead, slamming two more aces past his opponent.
In his last service game in the first set, Murray entertained the crowd. After winning the first two points, his third serve was called out by the linesman. Murray challenged the call, believing he had aced the serve, and Hawk-Eye proved the linesman was indeed correct. Before the crowd could finish sighing with disappointment, Murray shrugged off the result, quickly served again and slammed yet another ace past Roitman. The crowd’s sighs changed to cheers as Murray won the first set 6-3.
Even though Murray brought Roitman to deuce in his first service game of the second set, the veteran was able to hold serve.
Murray then smacked two aces in a row past Roitman to open his service game of the second set to even the score up at 1-1.
With Murray serving to tie the set at 2-2 after Roitman held serve for a second time, he fell into a 15-30 deficit after hitting an easy forehand into the net. Following the botched play, Murray slumped his shoulders and watched the ball roll to the side of the court before a ball girl scooped it up. With new determination – and possibly a bit of anger – Murray served a 115-mph ace in the deep lefthand corner. Murray was able to win the game.
Murray broke Roitman to bring the second set to 3-2, and after hitting a forehand winner to put the game away, he let out a triumphant shout.
Both men held serve through the remainder of the second set, with Murray winning 6-4.
Roitman served to open up the third set. With the score tied at 15-15, Roitman accidentally served a 99-mph shot directly into Murray’s body. The lanky 21 year old turned to avoid it but was hit square in the right shoulder. He yelped in pain but then smiled at the crowd as he walked it off.
Roitman seemed more shaken by the incident than Murray and proceeded to drop the next two points to go into a 0-1 hole.
Things didn’t get any better for Roitman. Murray quickly won his first service game of the third set and then broke Roitman again.
Murray again showed a loss of concentration and had an error-filled service game, allowing Roitman to bring him to deuce three times before finally holding serve to take a 4-0 lead. Murray broke Roitman one more time and then held serve to end the match with a 6-0 rout over Roitman.
"He was hitting his forehand really hard and making me do a bit of running," Murray said follwoing the match. "It was a decent test and I came through it pretty well."
The most interesting point of the match, ironically, was the last one. After exchanging shots with Roitman from the baseline, Murray played a point at net. He thought he'd hit a winner until Roitman was able to get to the ball to hit a passing shot over Murray’s head. Anxious to put the match away, Murray chased down the ball and hit a powerful shot just down the line as he was turning around. The crowd erupted in cheers.
"Yeah, it was one of the better shots I've hit this year," Murray said about the match-winning point. "It was a nice way to finish."
Although Murray is from Great Britain, it seemed as if he was playing in front of a hometown crowd. He told the fans during his post match interview on the court, “I love playing here, it is my favorite tournament. Hopefully I’ll do well.”
Murray went unbroken throughout the match. He will face either Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia or Michael Llorda of France in the second round.