US Open 2015: Andy Murray survives scare, backs new rules on quitters
Andy Murray escaped his earliest US Open exit in 10 years Thursday as the searing heat at Flushing Meadows took the number of men`s singles retirements to a Grand Slam record 12.
New York: Andy Murray battled back from two sets down to beat France`s Adrian Mannarino at the US Open before calling for new rules to cut the number of retirements, which have hit record levels.
Third seed and 2012 champion Murray triumphed 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 after his world number 35 opponent had threatened to condemn him to his earliest loss in New York since his debut in 2005.
But left-hander Mannarino wilted in the 30-degree heat and humidity in Arthur Ashe Stadium as Murray`s better physical condition proved crucial.
Murray goes on to face Brazilian 30th seed Thomaz Bellucci for a place in the last 16.
With heat and injury-forced retirements now at a record 12 in the men`s event -- including 10 in the first round -- Murray called for a heat rule, similar to the women`s tour, to be introduced for the men.
"When it`s extremely hot and humid, it helps to have that break," said Murray of the 10-minute rest that women players take between the second and third sets when the temperature goes above 30.1 degrees.
"I don`t know exactly what it`s for. But I guess you get the chance to sort of go off and change, get under a cold shower if you want to."
Murray also suggested new measures to prevent injured players turning up at events but going through the motions on court before stopping in a brazen ploy to claim the prize money.
The British star believes that "Lucky Losers" from qualifying should be given the opportunity to play in the main draw instead.
"If someone`s injured before they go out there, they`re just going to play five games or a few games just to get the first-round cheque, then that`s really bad for anyone that`s paid to come and watch," he said.
"So the best thing to do, if you`ve worked the whole year to get into these events and earned the right to play, if you show up here and withdraw, give the lucky loser a chance.
"But the player that pulls out takes the first-round prize money. If I was the lucky loser, I`d be delighted to have the chance to play for the second-round prize money.
"I think the player that`s earned the right to be there in the first place, you give them the first-round prize money and you avoid people walking on the court for a few games. It`s a waste of time for everyone."
Murray, who has been suffering from a cold in common with many players at the tournament, admitted the conditions had been tough on Thursday as he pulled off his eighth career comeback from two sets down.
"I`m proud of the way I fought. It was not an easy match to come through at all. He was making it extremely difficult for me, as well," said Murray.
"I was very happy with the way I fought through that, you know, finished the match stronger than him."
Murray, who had needed four sets to beat Nick Kyrgios in the opening round, fired 21 aces -- the last of which was on match point -- while Mannarino was undone by 61 unforced errors.
It was a familiar tale of woe for the 27-year-old Frenchman, who also had a two sets to love lead over Feliciano Lopez at the Australian Open in January before retiring with heat exhaustion in the fourth set.
"In a Grand Slam match, against these kinds of a players, it is never finished, even with a two sets to zero lead," said Mannarino.
"It was there that you could see the difference between us."