NEW YORK - World No. 4 Andy Murray and former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick were easy first-round winners Wednesday at the U.S. Open.
The 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Murray, one of the favorites at this Big Apple fortnight, came through against rising Indian Somdev Devvarman in 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-3 fashion at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Scottish star took care of business in 2 hours, 27 minutes by popping eight aces among his 41 winners. He also piled up 44 unforced errors, but broke the former NCAA singles champion Devvarman's serve on seven occasions.
"I was a little bit nervous at the start and making some bad decisions," Murray said. "Then once I calmed down, felt better the middle of the first set, and started hitting the ball a little bit better."
The three-time Grand Slam finalist Murray was this year's Australian Open runner-up to 2011 stalwart Novak Djokovic and lost to Roger Federer in the 2008 U.S. Open finale.
Murray, who upset an injured Djokovic in a Masters final in Cincinnati two weeks ago, will face Dutchman Robin Haase in the second round here.
Roddick, the No. 21 seed, outlasted fellow American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Roddick, who turned 29 on Tuesday, is a former world No. 1 who captured his lone career major championship here in New York in 2003.
Another American awaits Roddick in the second round. Jack Sock defeated Marc Gicquel of France 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to set up a matchup with Roddick.
The 18th-seeded del Potro, meanwhile, dismantled helpless Italian Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 in a mere 1 hour, 28 minutes on another beautiful day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. "Delpo" launched 18 aces among 38 winners and broke Volandri seven times while holding his powerful serve throughout.
Del Potro captured the 2009 U.S. Open championship by upsetting the great Federer in the final, but was unable to defend his title here a year ago while he continued to recover from wrist surgery.
"It's my favorite tournament, so I'm really happy to take the opportunity to play here again," del Potro said. "This year to be playing the U.S. Open, it's amazing, it's great, and I'm feeling really glad to see the crowd again, to see the Argentinean fans come to see me specially play here in the U.S. Open."
Up next for the big-hitting del Potro, who is now 14-3 lifetime in New York, will be fellow Argentine Diego Junqueira.
Tenth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro was sent packing by in-form Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, while 12th-seeded former top-10 Frenchman Gilles Simon outlasted Brazil's Ricardo Mello 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Day 3. Benneteau is fresh off his runner-up finish in North Carolina last week.
Big-serving American John Isner, the No. 28 seed, beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (13-11), 2-6, 6-4.
Baghdatis' defeat is no surprise considering he has never made it past the second round here.
Twenty-fifth seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez handled Japan's Tatsuma Ito 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the round of 64.
Additional opening-round wins came for Haase, Junqueira, Americans Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Robby Ginepri, Canadian Vasek Pospisil, Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, and Brazilian lucky-loser Rogerio Dutra Da Silva, who replaced sixth-seeded Robin Soderling in the draw when the two-time French Open runner-up from Sweden pulled out due to a viral illness. Bogomolov Jr. came back from two sets down to outlast NCAA singles champion and fellow American Steve Johnson in five sets.