US OPEN Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 13 September BBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live
Murray happy with first week at US Open
By Piers Newbery
Andy Murray proved far too strong for American wildcard Taylor Dent as he eased into the last 16 of the US Open.
The 22-year-old Briton, seeking his first Grand Slam title, hit some stunning returns as he won 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Dent, who, at 28, is making a comeback following back surgery, admitted the in-form Murray had made him feel like he was serving "underhanded at times".
Murray, who powered away to win in one hour 30 minutes, will now face a fourth-round clash with Marin Cilic.
The Croatian, seeded 16th, defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1 6-4 6-3, but Murray has won all three of their previous meetings and will be confident of making the quarter-finals.
After dropping a set in his second-round win over Paul Capdeville, the match against Dent allowed Murray to find an impressive rhythm on his returns as the American attacked the net at every opportunity.
I view the returns being as important as the serves
Murray had won their two previous encounters back in 2005, but since then their careers have gone in very different directions.
While the Scot has risen to second in the world rankings, Dent required back surgery in 2006 and 2007 and looked unlikely ever to play again.
That the former world number 21 was playing at Flushing Meadows for the first time in four years was an achievement in itself, and his dramatic five-set win over Ivan Navarro in the second round had earned him a prestigious night-session slot.
It looked as though the American could be in for an embarrassing evening as he lost the first nine points in a row, but his attacking instincts paid off as he broke straight back to level at 2-2.
Suddenly the New York crowd was well and truly into the match and a real contest briefly appeared possible as their man held his own from the net, but the class of the Murray returning game soon told.
Two dipping returns forced volleying errors from Dent in game eight and this time Murray would not hand back the break, hammering a couple of forehand winners on his way to taking the set.
The one concern for Murray in the opening set was a first-serve percentage of below 50% but he rectified that in the second, taking it up towards 80% as he snuffed out any threat of a break from Dent.
That allowed Murray to concentrate on his return games, and a blistering backhand winner gave him a break at 2-1 before a huge forehand took him 5-2 clear and effectively sealed the set.
Dent held his own at the start of the third but the pressure was growing with every service game, the best of which saw Murray open with successive return winners and take a 3-2 lead with a fantastic cross-court forehand.
A glimmer of hope came in the following game as Murray's first-serve percentage reverted to that of the first set but he saw off a break point with a heavy service winner and broke again on his way to closing out the match.
"I view the returns being as important as the serves," said Murray afterwards. "So I practice it loads and have my coach serve at me from just behind the service line.
He made it look and feel like I served underhanded out there at times... I think he is the number one in the world at breaking guys
Taylor Dent on Murray
"Obviously I returned well today, and I always like it when guys come forward against me and serve and volley."
Dent said: "He doesn't miss, he really doesn't miss. I don't think that I served great, but I don't think that I served poorly, either.
"He made it look and feel like I served underhanded out there at times. He was able to put stuff by me.
"I was trying to mix up my spins, mix up my paces, give him different looks. I think he is the number one in the world at breaking guys."
Murray will now face Cilic and is expecting a much tougher match.
"He's got a big serve and moves pretty well for a big guy," said the number two see. "He's kind of similar to (Ernests) Gulbis (who Murray beat in round one) but a lot more solid."
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