ANDY Murray bounced back from a lacklustre second set to book his ticket to the US Open third round with a four-set win over Paul Capdeville of Chile.
Britain's world No 2, playing in 80F heat at Arthur Ashe Stadium, beat his former training partner, ranked No 87, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 in two hours and seven minutes.
Murray, last year's runner-up and seeded second at Flushing Meadows, got off to the ideal start, despite appearing tentative in the early stages against a player he had trained with in Barcelona as a teenager.
The breakthrough did not come until the fifth game when Murray converted his second break point of the game as the Chilean netted a backhand, and the Scot went 3-2 up.
There was no way back for Capdeville, Murray sealing the next game with consecutive aces and breaking the Chilean to leave him serving for the first set at 5-2. Capdeville made Murray work for it but he got his just rewards.
The second set saw Murray start to look a little lethargic, Capdeville taking full advantage. Murray had never played the 26-year-old in tournament play and at he was broken for the first time as Capdeville went 3-1 up. He maintained the momentum in levelling the match.
In the third set, Murray quickly made amends by breaking the Chilean at the first opportunity to go 2-0 up. This was the best Murray had played all match, and he swept to a 6-0 whitewash in the set.
Capdeville got on the board at the start of the fourth set but Murray continued to dominate. a booming forehand winner in the fourth game earning a triple break point as the second seed took a 3-1 lead, running his opponent ragged in a long rally.
There was a blip when Murray served a double fault at 40-30 in the fifth game but an ace put the Scot back on track and two games from victory at 4-1 up in the fourth. Capdeville won his next service game to love and Murray took the seventh game.
The Chilean looked to have wilted after two hours of play while Murray, by contrast, was full of bounce, crushing a forehand down the line to give him double match point. Having saved one, a long forehand from Capdeville marked the white flag of surrender as the Scot advanced to the third round.
Murray admitted afterwards:
"I had three good sets and one bad one. I got off to a bad start in the second set, which gave him some confidence, but then I picked up and finished it off well.
"I had a bit of a down, physically. I didn't feel exhausted, just maybe (it was) that I didn't eat enough or too close to the match. I had the same problem a few years ago (in 2005) against (Andrei) Pavel, when I ended up throwing up – having not eaten enough and drunk too much.
"I wasn't doing anything on my serve and I was trying to go for winners from all over the court – and it wasn't working.
"He (Capdeville] hits his ball flat and it wasn't working – so I backed off from the baseline and got a lot more points that way."
The previous night, fifth seed Andy Roddick cruised into the third round at the US Open with another late-night show of strength.
Roddick put in a powerful performance under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium to suggest he is ready to vie with the world No1 for the second grand slam in a row.
The American, champion here in 2003 before the Swiss began his five-year unbeaten run, moved a step closer to a potential semi-final date with Roger Federer by blasting Frenchman Marc Gicquel away 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, and he will next face unseeded John Isner.
"Even in the second set when he got down, he started playing a little bit more aggressively and that was certainly the case in the last game," Roddick said.
"He came back and I was getting a little nervous there but I'm glad I was able to pull it out."
World No4 Novak Djokovic was rewarded for his greater consistency as he claimed a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Carsten Ball in the second round.
While Djokovic hit only three aces to his opponent's nine, with Ball producing serves of up to 135mph, the Australian foundered after producing seven double faults and making 45 unforced errors.
Eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko got past Czech Jan Hernych 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 to set up a third-round tie with Swiss player Marco Chiudinelli, a four-set winner over Mikhail Youzhny.
Wimbledon semi-finalist Tommy Haas breezed into the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) victory over American Robert Kendrick. The German, seeded 20th, created 18 break point opportunities in the match, but it stretched on longer than it might have as he converted only two. He will now face tenth seed Fernando Verdasco after the Spaniard cruised past Florent Serra 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.
Number 21 seed James Blake rounded out the day session on Ashe with the home crowd roaring their approval as he beat Belgium's Olivier Rochus 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, while compatriot Sam Querrey, the 22nd seed, won an all-American tie with Kevin Kim 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4.