Andy Murray looks to be back to his recent best with a confident and comprehensive win against Brazilian world number 30 seed Thomaz Bellucci.
Critics had begun to question whether he was in good enough form or winning well enough in the early stages of the tournament at Flushing Meadows to go all the way.
Yet for now, those critics have temporarily been silenced with a ruthlessly efficient performance in the third round, which saw him take a straight sets win 6-3 6-2 7-5, and Murray is aware of the importance of winning well and winning quick in the early stages while the conditions are favourable to him.
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After the game with Bellucci, Murray said: 'It was very important for me to get the win in three sets in cooler conditions' and admitted that the last round was tough for him both physically and mentally.
Going into the match, Bellucci was one of an elite group of only two left handed players to have beaten Murray, four years ago on clay in Madrid, but can you name the other? Of course, it's Rafael Nadal, who suffered another shock exit at a grand slam when he threw away a two set lead against Italian Fabio Fognini this weekend.
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On paper, Bellucci should not have caused Murray any real drama, and is often said to be a player who is easy to read, with the occasional piece of wondrous flair. But Murray got himself together to avoid any potential repeats of nervous performance against Kyrgios and Marranino in the opening two rounds.
It was the Brazilian who broke Murray first, and Murray answered by breaking him straight back to make it 2-2 in the first. Murray gradually found form and it had to be his trademark looping lob that secured the second break of the first set to go up 5-3.
It was a simple game from there onwards, with the scot finding particular success off of Bellucci's wayward backhand. There was a slight fightback in the third set but Murray broke for the final time at 5-5 to make it 6-5 and held serve to close out the match.
Murray will face South African number 12 seed Kevin Anderson in the next round, a player who is not to be taken lightly after enjoying a successful year which has seen him move up the world rankings. And if Murray is successful after that he will face the looming task of beating Swiss duo Wawrinka and Federer should they both come through their matches as expected.
A swift win against Anderson would ensure Murray is best prepared for what lies ahead, and if he can repeat his performance against Bellucci and start strongly, I have no doubt we are in for some contest later on in the tournament.
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