By Chris Oddo | Monday, August 25, 2014
Andy Murray was cramping badly but still had enough left in the tank to put the finishing touches on a four-set win over Robin Haase.
Photo Source: AP
Photo Source: Getty
For a while, as it often does when strange, unexpected ailments start to hinder Andy Murray, it looked as if the Scot might be on his way out of the U.S. Open on Day 1, but the 2012 champion found enough properly functioning muscle to ward off a late surge by Robin Haase on Armstrong Stadium to prevail, 6-3 7-6(6) 1-6 7-5.
“It's happened before,” said Murray after the match. “It's not the first time it's happened. I'm sure all of the tennis players have experienced it at some stage. But like I say, it was just weird that it happened after like an hour and a half or an hour and 40 minutes. Because, I mean, even if I was in bad shape I would still be fine normally after that amount of time.”
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In a match that ESPN commentator John McEnroe called one of the weirdest that he had ever seen, Murray was caught off guard by his own physical frailties, which surfaced after he had seemingly placed the match under lock and key, having taken a two sets to love lead.
Murray began to feel it in his legs, then in his arms, and suddenly nearly all of his two set lead had been squandered, and a reeling Murray found himself in danger of having to go five sets with Haase, down a break in set four.
But Murray, despite the pain and frustration of his cramps, would break Haase in three consecutive games to put himself in position to serve for the match at 6-5, and although he wobbled, facing two break points, the oft-erratic strokes of Haase and Murray's own mental fortitude helped him see the victory through.
“Well, cramps, it hurts,” said a relieved Murray, who will next face Matthias Bachinger of Germany in round two. “It hurts a lot. And like I say, when it is the whole body, that's when it—I mean, it's not really scary, but it's just like, you know, you don't want to go into certain positions, because when the muscle totally goes into cramp, then it's very, very painful. It's very sore. So, yeah, just glad it didn't really get to that stage where I actually couldn't move.”