US Open 2nd round: Murray beats Kyrgios, but other Brits fall
Just three British stars are left in the US Open Men and Women’s singles second round, and they all feature on Thursday evening UK time.
James Ward and Laura Robson joined Heather Watson in falling at the first hurdle, but Andy Murray leads a trio of Australian-born Johanna Konta and Aljaz Bedene, originally from Slovenia, aiming to reach the last 32 in their respective draws.
Tournament third-favourite Murray (4/1) came through a potentially tricky tie against controversial youngster Nick Kyrgios in four sets, and has been rewarded with arguably an easier clash against Adrian Mannarino.
The Frenchman (12/1 for victory) lost his only meeting to date against the Scot this year at Indian Wells 6-3 6-3. Murray (heavy 1/50 odds-on favourite), therefore, is a more tempting 3/1 shout to win the first set by that same scoreline.
Qualifier Konta (2/1), who enjoyed a great run in tournaments in her adopted country prior to Wimbledon, duels with Spain’s ninth seed Garbine Muguruza (4/11) up next in the Women’s draw, after easily dispatching Louisa Chirico.
More recent British convert Bedene, meanwhile, will be aiming for his first ever Grand Slam third round appearance, but got lucky in his opener after the more-fancied Ernests Gulbis withdrew injured.
The Ljubljana-born 26-year-old (11/10) is next up against American home hope Donald Young (4/6), and has beaten him before in their only encounter back in 2012. Bedene won 2-1 that day, and is 5/1 to triumph in five sets this time.
Elsewhere in the Men’s draw, evergreen all-time great Roger Federer (1/100) came through with ease against Leonardo Mayer, and is expected to do the same to next opponent Belgian Steve Darcis (14/1) too.
Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka (1/10) also faces a relatively straightforward clash against South Korean teenager Hyeon Chung (11/2), while there is an all-Aussie battle between 2001 US Open winner Lleyton Hewitt (9/4) and young pretender Bernard Tomic (1/3).
Other top names to look out for on Thursday include Tomas Berdych (1/14), Richard Gasquet (1/12) and Queen’s runner-up Kevin Anderson (1/9), who face Jurgen Melzer (13/2), Robin Haase (6/1) and Austin Krajicek (5/1) respectively.
In the Women’s section, meanwhile, second seed Simona Halep (1/12) is the highest profile name in action, and she continues her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title against Kateryna Bondarenko (6/1). The Romanian star is 9/1 to win the US Open.
The likes of Petra Kvitova (1/20), Caroline Wozniacki (1/8), Victoria Azarenka (1/16) and Sabine Lisicki (8/13) also feature on day four at Flushing Meadows, and they are up against respective opposition Nicole Gibbs (9/1), Petra Cetkovska (9/2), Yanina Wickmayer (7/1) and Camila Giorgi (6/5).
Coral’s betting tip: Back Murray to win the first set 6-3 against Mannarino, as he enjoys recording that scoreline on the Frenchman