Murray 'proud' of US Open comeback as he wins in five sets

Scot lives up to iron-man reputation as he recovers from two sets down against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino

Andy Murray - US Open 2015
(Image credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Andy Murray flirted with defeat at the US Open, recovering from two sets down to beat his French opponent Adrian Mannarino in just over three and a quarter hours and avoid his earliest Grand Slam exit since 2008.

The British number one, ranked third in the world, seemed off his game in the opening exchanges, and squandered six out of seven break points in the first set, which he eventually lost 5-7. Things did not improve in the second set and he went 2-0 down after losing 4-6.

But a break of serve early in the third set seemed to inspire him, and Mannarino, the world number 35, did not have a sniff for the rest of the match as Murray won the next three sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.

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Afterwards Murray praised his "unorthodox" opponent. "He has fantastic timing off both sides and very short backswings. It's very difficult to read where he's going to hit the ball," he said. The Scot added: "I'm proud of the way I fought".The match was an exercise in stamina and mental strength as much as skill, says Barry Flatman of The Times, and Murray "underlined his reputation as the iron man of tennis" on a sweltering afternoon.

"Murray's training regime is legend in the locker rooms of the world, but the reason he pushes himself so brutally is to prevail when the odds seem to be stacked against him," says Flatman.

It is the eighth time in his career that Murray has recovered from two sets down, notes Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph. "If it is a difficult thing to win two sets against Murray, then the real challenge is to win the third.

"So it came to pass as the errors mounted for Mannarino in a disappointing third set. A man who had been fending off break points with nose-thumbing insouciance suddenly started shipping water."

But although Murray is into the third round, where he will face Brazilian 30th seed Thomaz Bellucci, he may pay the price for failing to dispose of his opponent more quickly.

"Murray seemed listless and out of sorts until he once again managed to rediscover that spark, and brush Mannarino aside without further fuss," says the BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller. "He has, though, already spent six hours on court, Novak Djokovic just two hours and 40 minutes."

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