Murray has the wind in his sails

Andy Murray, pictured, was not troubled by Matthias Bachinger in windy New York

Andy Murray, pictured, was not troubled by Matthias Bachinger in windy New York

Andy Murray, pictured, was not troubled by Matthias Bachinger in windy New York

Andy Murray, pictured, was not troubled by Matthias Bachinger in windy New York

First published in National Sport © by

Andy Murray's US Open campaign was blown back on course on a windy New York night.

After his struggles with cramp against Robin Haase on Monday, which almost proved terminal to his hopes for the tournament, what was required against German qualifier Matthias Bachinger was a straightforward outing.

And that was exactly what played out under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Murray easing to a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory to set up a third-round meeting with Russian Andrey Kuznetsov on Saturday.

Both players initially found the conditions difficult but, once Murray adjusted to them, he produced some excellent tennis and looked to be enjoying himself.

The eighth seed said: "It was extremely windy today. That was the hardest part about the conditions. It's difficult to play close to the lines or anything like that. But I hit the ball well considering, I served better, and obviously I moved a bit better today as well.

"I don't mind playing in the wind. I like it. You have to play slightly different tennis than usual but I've always enjoyed it. I grew up playing in the wind a lot. I don't have a problem with it."

The cool conditions meant there was never any likelihood of a repeat of the physical problems that afflicted Murray so surprisingly on Monday.

The good news for the 2012 champion is there have been no lasting effects, with the two days off in between matches no doubt an extra bonus.

"I hope I feel better every day now," he said. "I felt fine the last couple days. I practised well and didn't have any problem. Tonight was fine, too."

On paper this was a mismatch - a two-time grand slam champion against a man who is ranked 235th and only won his first grand slam match on Monday.

Perhaps that explained the sparse crowd, with tennis' biggest arena looking particularly cavernous at less than a quarter full at the start.

But after Murray's struggles this season and especially on Monday, nothing could be taken for granted.

The last time the two 27-year-olds played each other was in the juniors 13 years ago before their careers took very different paths.

Bachinger did not look at all overawed by the occasion but a couple of loose shots in the eighth game cost him, giving Murray a break and the chance to clinch the set.

Bachinger was the most unlikely player to make the second round, the German only finding out two days before his first qualifying match that he had been given a place.

He flew to New York from Munich the next day, defying jet lag to win three matches in three days and then beat Radek Stepanek in the first round proper.

He had not dropped more than three games in any set before this match but Murray represented a step up in class.

The Scot seemed to relax after winning the first set and began to show some of the variety he knows coach Amelie Mauresmo will encourage.

He was keen to come to the net, while a number of exquisite lobs found their target when his opponent ventured forward.

The only moments of concern arrived in the fifth game of the third set when Bachinger had 0-40 but Murray calmly saved all three break points.

The German then saved five break points of his own, much to Murray's frustration, but more chances arrived in the 10th game and the eighth seed took his first match point after an hour and 46 minutes.

After the match, Murray revealed his intention to play for Scotland rather than Great Britain should his home nation become independent.

Murray has kept his thoughts about the referendum on September 18 to himself but revealed he has been following the build-up closely and watched 45 minutes of the second debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling.

"If Scotland became independent, then I imagine I would be playing for Scotland," he said.

"I haven't thought that much about that yet because I don't think it's looking too likely that it's going to happen. But if it did happen, then it would be pretty much the first time in my life that I would have ever (had the chance to play for Scotland).

"Ever since I started travelling to tournaments since I was 11 years old, I've always played under Great Britain. That's normal to me."

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