Andy Murray wants New York’s boisterous crowd to roar him to victory at the US Open after their support helped carry him to a 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 second-round round victory over Dutchman Robin Haase.
Murray thrived on the backing of the Louis Armstrong fans and has called on them to rally behind him again when he tackles Spanish serve-and-volleyer Feliciano Lopez on Sunday for a place in the last 16.
“They love emotion and they love a bit of drama and long points, someone fighting their way back,” said fourth seed Murray.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing here, so I need to try and make sure I get my emotions right in the next match, make sure I get the crowd involved a bit, show some fist pumps and ‘c’mons’.
“That’s what I always did when I was a kid, and that’s when I felt like I always moved my best, when I enjoyed playing tennis the most. I enjoyed the end of the match, and I think that showed.”
Murray, the 2008 runner-up, shook off his slow start to take a commanding fifth-set lead, then fended off a last furious charge from Haase who needed regular treatment on his back throughout the contest.
“I just wasn’t playing well at the start of the match, I was moving really poorly and that’s not good for my game. Once I started to move better towards the end of the third set my game was so much better,” said Murray.
Friday’s rip-roaring contest saw Murray fire 55 winners to Haase’s 53 and 46 unforced errors to the Dutchman’s 58.
Haase, whose career has been blighted by a succession of knee problems, cruised into a two sets lead before he needed three separate visits from the trainer to tend his injured back.
“I’ve been carrying it a while already. It is coming and going, because it’s not from the leg it’s actually from the hip, back, and yesterday nothing, it was fine, I played doubles, the whole day was good,” said Haase.
“Today I woke up at two o’clock that I couldn’t sleep for two hours, I was just walking down the corridor in the hotel because I was in so much pain.
“It’s strange that it comes in the night when I just lie down but something just moves into a bad spot and I wake up and have the pain and it’s tough for the physios to get it fixed.”
Murray won 13 games on the trot from 3-2 in the third set to 4-0 in the decider before Haase suddenly, and dramatically, launched a mini-recovery.
The 24-year-old Dutchman levelled at 4-4 before the Scotsman broke to lead 5-4.
Haase saved two match points, the second on a successful challenge to a forehand which was called out, before Murray clinched victory when his opponent went long.