NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britain’s Andy Murray, who is forging a new reputation as a crowd favorite, will try to take his place in round three of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
The third seed, who beat world number one Roger Federer in the gold medal match at the London Games earlier this month, was given a standing ovation following his opening match when his triumph was mentioned to the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Scotsman Murray, chasing his first grand slam title, faces big-hitting Croatian Ivan Dodig, a man ranked 118th in the world but who owns victories over Rafa Nadal and Robin Soderling.
“The support I’ve had since the Olympics and since the Wimbledon final has been excellent, and it helps when you’re playing matches,” said Murray.
”I know personally that winning a gold medal at a home Olympics is very rare. There are very few people that get the chance to do that. It was a huge match for me.
“When everyone around you is positive and people are upbeat and positive, it makes a difference to the way you play, the way you feel about yourself. It makes it easier to perform.”
While Murray tries to reach round three, fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain begins his title campaign in the last of three days of opening-round play.
The Spaniard faces big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in round one while former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is due to begin his title bid.
In the women’s event, world number one Victoria Azarenka plays Kirsten Flipkens, one of three Belgians in action on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
They are followed by Xavier Malisse against American ninth seed John Isner before three-time champion Kim Clijsters, in her last event before retirement, faces British teen Laura Robson.
Defending champion Sam Stosur and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova are also scheduled to play their second-round matches.
Editing by Frank Pingue