Andy Murray’s comeback to Grand Slam tennis can to an end today at the US Open. The 2012 tournament champion fell to Fernando Verdasco in four tough sets 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round in blazing hot conditions.
Verdasco was 1-13 against the Scot losing the last eight since the 2009 Australian Open. But the Spaniard had the upper hand most of the night against Murray who was playing just his second 5-set match in over a year.
Both players took a break after the third set, and Verdasco didn’t miss a beat, though had to save five break chances when he served it out at 5-4 in the fourth.
“I was really positive the whole match,” said Verdasco. “Obviously happy to go through because it was a super tough match for me against him, not being seeded. Like I said before the match two days ago, one of the toughest that you can play in first round or second round.”
It’s Verdasco first US Open third round since 2012 and his first win over Murray in nine years.
Next for Verdasco will be a very in-form Juan Martin del Potro. The 2009 champion drilled American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 to set up a showdown with the lefty.
“It’s important to win in three sets, to keep my body in good shape,” said del Potro. “Now I’ve been doing recovery so I will be fine after tomorrow. I was doing a good preparation mentally to try to deal with this kind of forecast. And I did well.
“Fernando is a really good player. I don’t like to play against a lefty because they can mix it up all the time. They play different angles of the game. They make variations all the time. It’s not going to be easy for me.”
Former champion Stan Wawrinka also advanced outlasting French qualifier Ugo Humbert 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“It was a battle to play a player that I never played before,” said Wawrinka. “He’s a young player. He’s been playing really well this summer, recently: qualifier, won a match. He’s a lefty, doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm and plays a great game.
“I think I went down a bit after being a set and a break up. Lost a little bit my focus on the right things. I wasn’t feeling great all the match. I wasn’t feeling the ball the best. I would have loved to. But I think it was important to stay mentally there, to stay trying to play a lot of balls, trying to play aggressive. As I say it was tough conditions for both players, so I just wanted to stay there.”
Wawrinka will take a 4-1 lead into the third round against the Canadian Milos Raonic who cruised past Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
“It’s going to be good,” Raonic said of the Swiss. “I watched him play two matches in Cincinnati. I watched him play a little bit of his match against Grigor on Monday. He’s playing well again. He’s moving well. He’s doing his things. He’s stepping up. He’s playing well in those big points. He’s hitting the ball hard, as he knows. He’s effective with his backhand. It’s going to be tough. I’m going to have to play well.”
Roanic’s higher-ranked countryman Denis Shapovalov picked up his first career 5-set win in a Grand Slam rallying to beat Andrea Seppi 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. The teen now meets 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson after the big South African rolled past Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Big men John Isner also went five sets late in the day outlasting 22-year-old Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-7(7), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. Isner will be pleased with his draw as up next is Serb Dusan Lajovic.
Isner’s countryman Jack Sock was ousted later in four sets by Georgian Nikolaz Basilishvili. Sock has lost 9 of his last 10 matches.
For the Americans, Steve Johnson lost in five sets to Dominic Thiem but Taylor Fritz moved on after hard-luck Australian Jason Kubler badly turned his ankle in the third forcing him to retire just two points into the fourth set.
Rafael Nadal thumped Vasek Pospisil in the nightcap with a two hour 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory to up his US Open win streak to nine and reach his 12th US Open third round. Nadal will meet Karen Khachanov of Friday. He leads the Russian 4-0 having never lost a set.
On tap Thursday, Roger Federer is on in the day against oddball Benoit Paire. Novak Djokovic wish of playing in the evening was granted. The Serb will take on Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren. Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev, Richard Gasquet and Fabio Fognini are also on court. And 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe tests the 19-year-old from Australian Alex De Minaur.
THURSDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM 12:00 PM
J. Larsson (SWE) vs. A. Kerber (GER) 
B. Paire (FRA) vs. R. Federer (SUI) 
N. Djokovic (SRB)  vs. T. Sandgren (USA)
M. Sharapova (RUS)  vs. S. Cirstea (ROU)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG STADIUM 11:00 AM
P. Kvitova (CZE)  vs. Y. Wang (CHN)
N. Mahut (FRA) vs. A. Zverev (GER) 
M. Keys (USA)  vs. B. Pera (USA)
G. Monfils (FRA) vs. K. Nishikori (JPN) 
L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs. C. Wozniacki (DEN) 
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