Andy Murray Overcomes Attack of Cramps to Advance at U.S. Open | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / February 5.
  • Andy Murray Overcomes Attack of Cramps to Advance at U.S. Open

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    MurrayNEW YORK — Andy Murray survived a brutal attack of cramps and advanced over Dutchman Robin Haase in four sets to avoid a stunning upset in the first round of the U.S. Open Monday.

    “Yeah, I’m happy about that because I could have easily lost that match,” the No. 8 seed and 2012 Open champ said after surviving with a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-5 victory.

    “I was very close to losing the match,” the Scot added. “I don’t think if it would have gone to five sets I would’ve been — I certainly would have been the favorite if it had gone to five sets. I’m happy about that.”

    By the end of the 3-hour, 8-minute match playing under a bright sunshine and in temperatures in the 80s, a pained-looking Murray was routinely stretching the left side of his body, reaching upward to stretch his lats (Latissimi dorsi.)

    Earlier, he grabbed his leg, groin and hamstring as the cramps seemed to pervade his entire body.

    “It’s not the worst I have ever felt necessarily, but it’s the worst I have ever felt after an hour and a half of a tennis match,” Murray said. “That’s what was worrying about it, is it came after such a short time. I don’t think I felt like that after hour and 30, hour and 40 minutes on a tennis court before. I mean, I played four-and-a-half, five-hour matches and felt pretty awful afterwards.”

    Haase, too, seemed bothered by the conditions as both men labored through the final portions of the match.

    After averaging 111 mpg on his first serve in the first set, Murray dipped to 93 mph in the fourth.

    By the end, Murray held his body more upright than normal, used his legs more and tried to end points quickly. After Haase served for the fourth set at 5-3, Murray ultimately won the match at 6-5 on his serve with a forehand winner into the corner.

    John McEnroe called it one of the 10 strangest matches he had ever seen.

    Murray said he isn’t sure what triggered the cramps and wondered if it was something he ate or drank beforehand.

    “Maybe [I will] speak to a nutritionist and look at what I had eaten the last three, four days,” he said. “I don’t think I was that dehydrated, because I needed to go to the toilet when I got off the court…You know, I was fine. I wasn’t particularly dehydrated. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I will try to get to the bottom of it before I play again.”

    Murray said he never considered calling the trainer because he didn’t think he was allowed to do so for cramps.

    “I mean, you can get the trainer on and say it’s something else, but it was pretty clear what was happening,” he said. “And at that stage it was like, well, what does he come on and treat? I mean, my quads, my forearms, and my lats. One treatment I don’t think he would have been able to help. You just try to get as much fluid and eat as much as you can at the change of ends.”

    Murray has overcome physical obstacles before to make runs in Grand Slams.

    At the 2012 French Open, he battled back spasms throughout before falling in the quarterfinals to David Ferrer.

    Murray goes on to face German qualifier Matthias Bachinger, who beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. He is seeded to meet No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarters.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.