NEW YORK (Reuters) - Andy Murray overcame cramps, erratic serving, unforced errors and blustery conditions to defeat Russian Alex Bogomolov at the U.S. Open on Monday before admitting a possible player strike of the 2013 Australian Open would be damaging to the sport.
Murray recorded his 6-2 6-4 6-1 triumph despite landing only 49 percent of his first serves and being broken on four occasions in a muddled start to his quest for a breakthrough major championship.
The Olympic gold medalist appeared irritable in his first outing at Flushing Meadows and made 31 unforced errors in a performance he rated “a six or seven out of ten.”
”I didn’t serve very well but I only lost seven games in three sets so I must have done something well,“ Murray said. ”I played fairly well from the back of the court. I just would have liked to have served a bit better.
“A little bit of cramp - it was very, very humid on the court today. Maybe I didn’t take enough fluid. I haven’t played that many matches in that sort of humidity for a while so it’s probably a bit of a shock to the body.”
Murray said players were united in their push for an increased percentage of revenue from major championships but hoped a strike would fail to materialize.
“Who knows what is going to happen. I hope it doesn’t come down to that,” Murray said. “That’s bad for everybody, really.”
Strike action was first proposed at a heated player meeting before the Australian Open in January that led to a public rift between Rafael Nadal and world number one Roger Federer.
Nadal, an 11-time grand slam champion, subsequently quit his role on the players council.
”When we went through the player meeting at the Aussie Open, it was pretty brutal,“ Murray said. ”Everyone was speaking up. The whole tour was kind of together. They still are.
“The majority of players want to see a change in the grand slams.”
Murray declined to discuss the likelihood of a strike.
”Have no idea,“ he said. ”There’s so many things that go into something like that with lawyers, forming unions, all sorts of different scenarios that need to be thought through first.
“Right now it’s a long way away, but I don’t know how serious everybody is about it. If in the next month or two months they get everything sorted and ready to go then I’ll have a better answer at that time.”
Bogomolov failed to win his serve in the first set and blew a chance to lead by two breaks in the second set.
Murray, who lost this year’s Wimbledon final to Federer, faces Croatian Ivan Dodig in the second round as he attempts to convert the momentum of Olympic success into a first triumph in a major.
“I knew after that match (the Olympic final) that everything you’ve gone through as a player was worth it,” he said.
”I’ve had many tough losses. I’ve played tennis properly since I moved over to Spain when I was 15, so about ten years I’ve been playing. I’ve had a lot of doubts after losing.
“Even after the Wimbledon final, you have a lot of doubts about yourself. But after winning a match like that you kind of forget about all those things. It’s definitely, definitely worth all the hard work.”
Editing by Steve Ginsburg