You could have flown to Denver in the time it took Andy Murray to beat Yoshihito Nishioka on Tuesday.
Murray fought off a match point in the fourth set and beat the scrappy Nishioka, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-4, in four hours and 39 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium in a first-round U.S. Open match.
“After I lost the first two sets, I had to turn on the afterburners,” said the 33-year-old Murray, who is inching his way back toward being competitive after two hip surgeries in 2018. Murray won the Open in 2012.
Nishioka, the lefthanded version of Japanese countryman Kei Nishikori, had match point in 12th game of the fourth set, but sailed his return of Murray’s serve long
Earliest exit for Venus
Venus Williams lost in the opening round of the U.S. Open for the first time ever. Williams, 40, who was 21-0 in the first round enterning the tournament, was beaten by No. 20 seed Karolina Muchova, 6-3, 7-5, in the night session.
Winning is a tall order
This hasn’t been a good Open for tall Americans. On Tuesday, 6-6 Sam Querrey was ousted in the first round by Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2. On Monday 7-foot Reilly Opelka, the 2019 New York Open champion, was beaten by David Goffin in four sets and 6-10 John Isner was beaten in a fifth-set tiebreak by fellow American Steve Johnson.
Two seeded men — No. 2 Dominic Thiem and No. 32 Adrian Mannarino — have been fined because someone in their entourage violated the tournament’s COVID-19 protocols. Thiem was fined $1,500 because someone in his entourage violated the universal masking rule. There was no explanation of what Mannarino’s entourage did wrong, but he was fined $2,500.
Carla Suarez Navarro, who last week pulled out of the U.S. Open for medical reasons, revealed on Tuesday she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will undergo chemotherapy. Suarez Navarro, who turns 32 on Thursday, said she would retire at the end of this season. The Spaniard was ranked sixth in the world in 2016.