Andy Murray moved into the second round of the US Open with a 6-2 1-6 6-3 6-3 win over Robert Kendrick on Wednesday.
Murray is seeded at a Grand Slam event for the first time
The Briton, who beat American Kendrick 6-0 6-0 in their only previous encounter, looked on course for another easy win when dominating the first set.
A poor second followed and Murray was in trouble at a break down in the third, but he recovered and withstood a Kendrick fightback to seal the win.
Murray, seeded 17, will play Italy's Alessio di Mauro in round two.
"I knew it was going to be difficult," Murray said. "Robert hits the ball pretty hard. He's got a big serve. He's pretty flashy, can hit some big winners.
"But if you can keep enough balls in court and deep he can get a bit impatient and start making mistakes.
Alessio di Mauro is a really solid player
"Kendrick goes for shots that are not really on. He can he can do it for a set, two sets but to keep it up over five sets is really difficult.
"When you play high risk tennis like that the law of averages says that he's going to play two or three bad sets out of six. It's difficult to maintain a standard like that."
It was not a vintage performance from Murray but he was by far the classier player, as he proved in the first and fourth sets
The Scot's patience from the baseline was in marked contrast to Kendrick, who went for everything with varying degrees of success.
Murray broke serve in the opening game and did so twice more during the first set before letting his concentration slip.
A double fault in game two of the second set prompted a mini collapse, allowing the American to level the match.
After Kendrick broke at the start of the third, the key moment came in game four when Murray converted his third chance to break back in a tense game.
A run of eight straight games from 3-3 put Murray in total control, although dropping serve twice when serving for the match from 5-0 in the fourth was a reminder that there is more work to be done.
And Murray insists that he will not be dismissing the threat of Di Mauro, who beat him in a Challenger event in Barletta, Italy.
"I lost against him a year and a half ago," added Murray.
"He's a really solid player. Obviously, I'm playing much better than I was at that stage, but he's going to be difficult."