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Page last updated at 03:16 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 04:16 UK

Murray v Gulbis as it happened


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By Piers Newbery

0422: Thanks for all your input, you've just got time for a couple of hours' sleep before we kick it all off again at 1600 BST for day three. Oh, and you might want to pop into work briefly, just to show your face. Night/morning.

0418: "Murray's win makes the fact that i'm only going to get around three hours sleep worth it."
From Alan via text

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 7-5 6-3 7-5 Gulbis
Murray has Gulbis in all sorts of trouble at the net but goes the wrong way and the Lativan picks him off. However, the Briton responds with some decent serving and more aggressive stuff at the baseline, and Gulbis nets a backhand on match point. A highly impressive performance and Murray will play Paul Capdeville of Chile in the second round.

* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-5 Gulbis
Murray looks impatient to get it over and is the more aggressive on his forehand until Gulbis really cranks it up and blasts one into the corner for 40-15. He can't do the same on his backhand moments later though, and Murray then chases down a poor drop shot and steers it down the line for deuce. Gulbis does the right thing and moves forward, punching away a backhand volley, but a double-fault has him back at deuce. A loose forehand gives Murray break point... and he takes it with his best shot of the night, a fabulous cross-court backhand winner off his hips.

Murray 7-5 6-3 5-5 Gulbis *
There's just the feeling that Gulbis has a bit of momentum when he takes the first point and Murray does superbly to wrestle the initiative back, hitting a big serve, powering to the net for 30-15, hammering away a forehand and making another service winner. Classy stuff.

* Murray 7-5 6-3 4-5 Gulbis
Murray steps it up a touch with some heavier hitting from the baseline and gets back to 30-30, but then leaks a forehand into the tramlines. Gulbis swings a backhand wide before there is a bit of an argument over a line call as Gulbis thinks he has hit an ace - and this time Hawkeye backs him up. More smiles. Game point for the Latvian and Murray hurtles in to try and collect a drop shot and falls over heavily. A worrying moment, but he seems OK. We don't need that...

Murray 7-5 6-3 4-4 Gulbis *
No messing about from Murray, some big serves and a delicate angled backhand give him a swift love hold.

* Murray 7-5 6-3 3-4 Gulbis
We have an incident. A ball boy goes to the side of the court to collect a Gulbis missile and comes a cropper, falling over the advertising hoardings and behind the ranks of photographers. Murray then hits a brilliant backhand winner which is collected by the same ball boy, to a massive cheer, and he then has to suffer a slow-motion replay of his tumble on the big screen. He has a laugh about it though, good stuff. Oh, and Gulbis holds.

Murray 7-5 6-3 3-3 Gulbis *
Gulbis goes for a few extravagant winners and gets nowhere. This set is now trundling by without much incident and one of these two needs to find a spark, Gulbis in particular.

BBC Radio 5 live's Alastair Eykyn tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Ivanovic shattered... tears and frustration - where's that smile from early last year gone? Looks like a different person."

* Murray 7-5 6-3 2-3 Gulbis
At 15-30, Murray can see the finish line, but Gulbis battles his way out of trouble and the Briton cannot quite string the necessary returns together right now.

Murray 7-5 6-3 2-2 Gulbis *
Murray holds with ease and the pressure is quickly back on Big Ern.

* Murray 7-5 6-3 1-2 Gulbis
Oh dear. Gulbis sticks a smash into the net and then has another Hawkeye embarrassment when he questions a call of 'out' on a lob, only to see it was very much 'out'. Still, he recovers well and gets a huge cheer when he takes the game. It seems the locals fancy a bit more tennis.

Text in your views on 81111
0335: "Come on andy, some of us have work tomorrow. And that's proper work piers, yours doesnt count!"
From Toby via text

0335: "Switches to live text commentary..and look! Murray takes the second set.. Morning to all by the way."
From George, Hertfordshire, via text

Murray 7-5 6-3 1-1 Gulbis *
It's not the easiest of games for Murray but he comes through from deuce when Gulbis goes for too much with a backhand, and the world number 95 looks a bit pooped to me. Then again, aren't we all...

* Murray 7-5 6-3 0-1 Gulbis
Gulbis does well to recover from 0-30 with some decent serving, taking the game with a serve-volley.
* denotes Next server


Murray 7-5 6-3 Gulbis *
Gulbis takes the first point before Murray comes up with two heavy serves followed by a double-fault. It's 30-30, Gulbis moves into position behind a mid-court tempter... and smacks it several feet wide and long. Set point for Murray... and he nets a backhand. No matter, a thumping ace follows and when Gulbis challenges, only to see it landed miles in, both players have a laugh. Murray hits another big serve and he's two sets up. No going to bed yet though, promise?

It's good news for a Briton
* Murray 7-5 5-3 Gulbis
Murray hits a heavy, looping forehand right onto the baseline and then lures Gulbis into a couple of errors for 15-40 and two break points... and the Scot then plays his best rally of the night, moving Gulbis around at will and firing an aggressive forehand winner cross-court. Impressive stuff.

Murray 7-5 4-3 Gulbis *
It's all gone a bit flat for the moment and Murray slips to 0-30 with a couple of loose errors. Gulbis totally misjudges a ball he thinks is dropping out and has to play a hurried, improvised forehand, before Murray goes long. It's 0-40, three break points.... and Murray nets a forehand to let Gulbis back into the set.

BBC Radio 5 live's Jonathan Overend tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Hi to everyone with radios under pillows, keep going!!! Vital for AM to get that 1st set in the can. David Law in the chair for set 2..."

* Murray 7-5 4-2 Gulbis
Murray goes for a bit of the old chip-and-charge, angling away the volley, but Gulbis holds.

Text in your views on 81111
0255: "Come on Murray! We are on nightshift, so enjoying the commentary. James, if you don't like Andy Murray, then go to bed."
From Kelly and John, Aberdeen, via text

0255: "RE toby: murray could do with attacking more, but you don't get to number two without being able to beat people."
From Alan via text

Murray 7-5 4-1 Gulbis *
Ernests must be a nightmare to coach. An absolute screamer of a backhand pass on the run earns him three breaks points at 0-40 and raises the question, why don't you do that a bit more often? Murray does brilliantly to serve his way out of trouble with five points in a row, rounding it off with a big ace.
* Murray 7-5 3-1 Gulbis
Murray has a sniff at the double break when a searing forehand winner takes him to deuce but Gulbis holds on. All is quiet on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the moment.

Murray 7-5 3-0 Gulbis *
Murray consolidates the break after a shaky opening at the net, making amends immediately with the sweetest of backhand volleys. And Ana Ivanovic has just lost in a final set tie-break to Kateryna Bondarenko.

Text in your views on 81111
0255: "Hopefully Murray can step up and get the next two sets fast now, I'd love to get to bed at some point tonight!"
From Hines, Glasgow, via text

0255: "Can you please tell me why i'm sat at my computer at 2.50 in the morning, waiting every two minutes for the page to refresh when i don't even like andy murray? Work in 5 hours!"
From James, Ockham, via text

* Murray 7-5 2-0 Gulbis
A double-fault and an error get Gulbis off to a poor start, and a woeful attempt at a drop shot makes it 0-40. Three break points.... and Murray takes the second when Gulbis sticks a backhand long. Things could head south very rapidly for the Latvian now.

Murray 7-5 1-0 Gulbis *
Murray hooks a nice cross-court forehand winner early in the game and mixes things up with a couple of successful serve-volleys.
* denotes Next server


It's good news for a Briton
* Murray 7-5 Gulbis
Blimey. Gulbis plays an absolute shocker of a game, making three errors to fall 0-40 and three break points down... Gulbis battles his way through the first, hammers a forehand on the second, and Murray nets on the third. It's good stuff from Gulbis but Toby (below) has a point, the Briton did not do enough in any of those rallies. Fortunately for him, Bad Gulbis is soon back and dumps a volley in the net with Murray stranded and it's another set point... and Murray chases down a drop shot and sticks away the winner.

Text in your views on 81111
0241: "Has murray hit a winner in this match yet? Gulbis hits errors - murray breaks, gulbis hits winners - breaks back. Im still not convinced murray can beat players rather than just make then beat themselves."
From Toby via text

Murray 6-5 Gulbis *
Gulbis hits an absolute screamer of a backhand for 30-30 and then lobs Murray to earn a break point... a big serve out wide from Murray this time. "Come on!" That was Murray, not me. Gulbis makes a couple of rash errors and we're still on serve.

* Murray 5-5 Gulbis
He blows hot, he blows cold, and right now Ernests has gone a bit chilly again. A woeful forehand endangers the ball boys and sees him slip to 15-30, and some forceful Murray backhands take us to deuce. A flashing return down the line gives Murray set point... but Gulbis fires a huge ace out wide. That was hot. And Vic, I've tried but they flatly refused my suggestion that the USA abandons the quaint tradition of having its own time and simply adopts GMT. They've got floodlights after all.

Text in your views on 81111
0229: "Piers, do you mind having a word with the US open organisers and proposing they move the tournament to England in future years to solve our problem of having to be awake at stupid o'clock in the morning to watch the action! Thanks, you're a good man."
From Vic, London, via text

Murray 5-4 Gulbis *
Murray edges ahead but it's not the most comfortable of games as Gulbis connects with a couple of huge backhands.

* Murray 4-4 Gulbis
Both players are hitting the ball very well from the baseline and for the moment it's Gulbis who is holding the edge, as he's prepared to go for his shots a little more. For now, they're landing in, and he's back on level terms.

Murray 4-3 Gulbis *
Gulbis opens with a couple of decent backhands to get to 15-30. Murray then plays a cagey rally, trying to draw the mistake, but Gulbis makes him pay with a fabulous backhand winner down the line and it's two break points... and he then hammers a forehand down the other flank to break back. That's why everyone calls him "the talented Latvian".

* Murray 4-2 Gulbis
Gulbis goes for way too much with a forehand down the line and follows up with another snatched effort and it's 30-30, the first half-chance of the night. Murray chips a serve back and Gulbis does exactly the same again, smacking a forehand long for break point... and a fourth successive dodgy forehand gives up the break. That's why he's 95 in the world.

Murray 3-2 Gulbis *
We get the first decent rally of the night with Murray at 40-30 and the Scot calmly pushes Gulbis into the corner and sticks away the resulting smash. Ana Ivanovic is having a tough time against Kateryna Bondarenko at a break down in the decider.

Text in your views on 81111
0210: "Piers, please can you write a note to my boss, excusing me for my probable late arrival and lacklustre performance at work in the morning? Ta!"
From Cogen via text

* Murray 2-2 Gulbis
Gulbis hits ace number three as he levels things up and not a hint of nerves yet from the Latvian. Meanwhile, Ivan Navarro has pulled off a major shock with a straight-sets win over Ivo Karlovic, and with Wawrinka losing just now that's two big names out of Murray's path to the latter stages. If he can beat Gulbis, that is...

Murray 2-1 Gulbis *
Murray wallops down ace number four as he holds to love and this is all a bit Sampras-Ivanisevic. I can't keep up.

* Murray 1-1 Gulbis
Gulbis races through a highly impressive love hold.

Murray 1-0 Gulbis *
Murray opens with a solid service game, although Gulbis gives a little glimpse of his power with one raking forehand that he backs up with a deft volley. Murray outdoes him with a killer drop volley to take the game. My prediction? Straight sets Murray.
* denotes Next server

Text in your views on 81111
0157: "Nice quick match please, i have to be awake at half 7. Prediction Piers?"
From anon via text

0157: "I want 5 sets. I'm night shift and finish at 5am"
From Kingy, East Calder, via text

0154: Gulbis and Murray knock up energetically and still look remarkably alike to my eyes. The Latvian is a big-hitter but has not been in great form recently. Where The Streets Have No Name accompanies the knock-up, I have no idea why.

0148: Gulbis and Murray stride out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium, and I'd say Murray will get a boost with the news that Wawrinka has just lost in five sets to Lapentti and Karlovic is hanging on against Navarro - the Spaniard just had a match point.

BBC Radio 5 live's David Law tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Tarango is on the premises. Going live on 5Live shortly: Murray v Gulbis. Pre-match meal of ribs. Pre-match nerves lingering. Let's go."

0148: "Come on muzza straight sets win please so i can get back to sleep zzzzz."
From MGK via text

0145: And I'm back in the room.... here we go, Andy Murray v Ernests Gulbis. As you should surely know by now, Murray leads their head-to-head 3-0 and gave Gulbis a bit of a whupping at Wimbledon a matter of weeks ago. Gulbis is a year younger than Murray at 21 and generally referred to as "the talented Latvian..." although that is more to do with the impressive start to his career, and he's since slipped to 95 in the rankings. Murray, meanwhile, has jumped to number two, in case you didn't know.

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see also
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US Open photos - day two
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US Open quotes - day two
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US Open day two as it happened
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Men's singles draw
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Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
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