Andy Murray described the scheduling that saw him open his US Open defence late on Wednesday night as “not ideal”.
The third seed and opponent Michael Llodra were the last players to get on court in the first round, but Murray made sure they were not the latest to finish with a sharp and swift 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory on Arthur Ashe.
The US Open is the only grand slam tournament that carries the first round into the Wednesday, but usually all the matches are played in the day session.
However, a knock-on effect of the rain on Monday night meant the second-round match they had intended to put on -- Rafael Nadal against Rogerio Dutra Silva -- had to be held back because otherwise the Brazilian would have played for three days in a row.
Nadal, one of Murray’s main rivals for the title, played his first-round match more than 48 hours earlier, while Novak Djokovic, who is a potential semi-final opponent for the Scot, played on Tuesday. Murray said: “I think playing at that time for your first round is not ideal. That’s it. I’m not going into any more detail than that. It’s just not ideal. It’s not whether it’s me, it’s anyone. Just because I won last year, it’s nothing to do with that. For the guys that have to play this evening, you have guys that have two days off between matches.
“We were asked on Saturday, ‘Would you like to play on Tuesday or Wednesday’? We said Tuesday.
“They then told us the next day, ‘It’s looking like it’s going to be Wednesday’. Okay, cool. It will be during the day on Wednesday.
“Yesterday, as we were leaving at 3pm we were told, ‘It’s looking like you’re going to be playing in the evening’. Then we had to come back last night to practise under the lights, and it just changes your preparation for the match. But there were a few guys that were in that situation today. I like playing at night.
I just don’t think for the first round it’s ideal.”
A four-hour clash between Juan Martin del Potro and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez then held up Murray and Llodra even further and it was nearly 10pm by the time they played their first point.