Murray made to sweat by Lopez

Salisbury Journal: Andy Murray reached the last 16 of the US Open with a hard-fought win over Feliciano Lopez Andy Murray reached the last 16 of the US Open with a hard-fought win over Feliciano Lopez

Andy Murray survived a near four-hour epic against Spain's Feliciano Lopez to reach the fourth round of the US Open in sweltering conditions in New York.

The third seed has a great record against Lopez but this match was tight from the start and Murray looked in trouble in the fourth set as he began to struggle in the heat.

But he hung tough and eventually edged three tie-breaks to come through 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-6 (7/4) and set up a last-16 clash with Milos Raonic.

Canada's Raonic is the brightest of the game's rising stars and he showed what a danger he could be to Murray with a crushing 6-3 6-0 7-6 (7/3) victory over American wild card James Blake.

In Murray's game, the third tie-break of the match was just as close as the first two but the Scot made the decisive move with a brilliant backhand pass to lead 6-4, and took his first chance when Lopez netted an attempted drop shot after three hours and 53 minutes.

Murray said: "It was a very, very tough match. I just had to keep fighting. It was very hot and humid in the middle part of the match and I was struggling a little bit with that. But I thought we played some good tennis, especially at the end of the sets."

The Scot prides himself on being one of the fittest players on tour but he admitted playing at the Olympics, which denied him the chance to train in hot conditions, was having an effect.

Murray suffered with cramp in his first-round win over Alex Bogomolov despite it being straight sets, and he said: "Physically I'd like to be in slightly better form but these matches help with that.

"Normally after Wimbledon I have three weeks in Miami to help with this but I didn't get that because of the Olympics. But it's a nice problem to have, that's for sure.

"It's the first couple of matches I've played in this heat and humidity for a while so it's been tough."

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