Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Andy Murray, Simona Halep toil but advance at U.S. Open

updated 4:26 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Former champion Andy Murray labored to a win against Robin Haase at the U.S. Open on Monday.
Former champion Andy Murray labored to a win against Robin Haase at the U.S. Open on Monday.
  • Andy Murray begins his U.S. Open by toiling past Robin Haase in four sets
  • 2012 champion Murray is hoping to find his form after slumping since July
  • Women's second-seed Simona Halep rallies to beat a young American
  • Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams also through

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Andy Murray started the 2014 season off slowly, which might have been predicted given he had back surgery last fall. He picked up his game at the French Open only to suffer a bewildering loss to Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon as the defending champion.

Things almost got worse for Murray on the opening day of the U.S. Open, as he suffered from cramps throughout his body before seeing off Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-5 on Monday.

Despite Murray being in distress, Haase couldn't serve out the fourth set and also squandered a break chance in the final game when he netted a fairly routine forehand volley.

For much of the last two sets, Murray struggled with his movement, didn't get pace on his serve and clutched at his body.

Haase was "incapable of taking his opportunity," Boris Becker, the coach of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic who was analyzing the match for Sky Sports, said. "Murray was presented to Haase on a silver platter in that fourth set but Robin didn't like it."

Althea Gibson's Tennis legacy
U.S. Open by the numbers
Nadal's personal stringer reveals secrets

Murray, known for his endurance, said he began to cramp after an hour and 45 minutes.

That wasn't "normal," he added.

"And then I didn't really know what to do in that third set, because my quads were cramping and then I started to get it in my lats so when I was throwing the ball up to serve, and then in my forearms," Murray told Sky.

"I didn't know whether to conserve energy or to try and finish it in three sets, but then I got broken at the beginning of the set. I just tried to hang around. I was trying to play without using my legs much."

Murray -- taken to five sets by Haase in New York in 2011 -- was also left wondering why his body let him down.

"I need to work out why that happened today because it shouldn't happen after an hour and 45 minutes regardless of the temperature," he said. "It was hot but it wasn't particularly humid and we didn't play loads of long rallies in the first couple of sets, either."

If it was only down to cramps, Murray could very well make a complete recovery and the 2012 champion caught a break in the draw because his next opponent is Matthias Bachinger, not tricky Czech Radek Stepanek.

Bachinger upset Stepanek in straight sets.

In the women's draw, second-seed and French Open finalist Simona Halep survived a scare, too, eventually overcoming inexperienced American Danielle Rose Collins 6-7 6-1 6-2.

There were victories for fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska, sixth-seed Angelique Kerber and 19th-seed Venus Williams.

Williams, 34, beat the nearly 44-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 2-6 6-3 6-3.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.