US Open: Andy Murray beats Thomaz Bellucci to make last 16 – BBC Sport
Britain’s Andy Murray made swift progress into the US Open fourth round as he swept past Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets.
Murray had needed five sets to win his previous round but saw off 30th seed Bellucci 6-3 6-2 7-5 in the New York night session.
The third seed goes on to face South African 14th seed Kevin Anderson in the last 16 on Monday.
Murray leads the head-to-head 5-1 and won when they met at Queen’s in June.
Murray relishes cooler conditions
If there were any question marks hanging over Murray after his gruelling comeback against Adrian Mannarino on Thursday, the Scot answered them comprehensively.
He took two hours and 11 minutes – 66 minutes shorter than against Mannarino – as he denied the night crowd another thriller.
“It was very important today,” Murray said of his three-set win.
“My last match was extremely tough physically and mentally. It was a lot cooler today, which helps, and to get the win in three sets.
“I get a day to recover now and get ready for the next one.”
Pressure too much for Bellucci
The early signs were not great, with Murray furious after dropping his opening service game, but he hit back immediately for 2-2 and was never behind again.
Two double faults hurt Bellucci in that service game and Murray pushed hard in a 22-point game at 3-2, only to see four break points slip by.
The 2012 champion made the breakthrough two games later and won five straight games after another Bellucci double fault gave up the break early in set two.
Murray broke again on his way to a two-set lead but had to remain patient in the third as Bellucci held firm, before the Scot converted his third chance at 5-5 and served out.
“It was much slower conditions today, a bit easier to return and tougher to serve, so because of that there were a lot of long rallies,” Murray added.
“He plays well with confidence when he’s ahead. When he got that break early I was a bit worried.
“He was striking the ball well, thankfully I managed to get the break straight back.”
Anderson next for Murray
The 6ft 8in South African said it felt “fantastic” after he beat Austria’s Dominic Thiem to reach the fourth round for the first time.
Anderson, 29, is a man on an upward curve with a career-high ranking of 14 and he is targeting a place at the end-of-season ATP Finals for the top eight players.
He is top of the aces charts at Flushing Meadows after three matches with 69, and has dropped serve just once.
“I’m feeling really good out there,” said Anderson. “I’m just trying to keep things simple.”