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Martin Rogers

U.S. Open Slice, Day 5: Murray feeling at home in New York

Busted Racquet

FIRST SERVE

Wimbledon will always be Andy Murray's "home" Grand Slam but the U.S. Open is fast becoming his favorite.

From the relative anonymity the city of New York affords him, to the hard court surface that best suits his game, here is where the heart is for the British world No. 2.

Murray's second-round victory over Paul Capdeville on Friday included an uncharacteristic second set blip, but no real danger to his hopes of repeating last year's run to the final.

Heading into the first weekend, all is well in the world of the 22-year-old, and his chances of claiming a first Slam title may never have been greater.

A semifinal defeat to Andy Roddick at Wimbledon was a huge disappointment, yet grass has never brought out his defensive genius as much as the Flushing Meadows cement.

"I have always loved playing this tournament, ever since I was young," said Murray. "This is my best surface and I have played a lot of matches so I feel in good shape."

Murray is not one for making bold predictions and he probably feels he has no need to do so.

The tennis world, and rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, know all about what the man from Scotland is capable of.

It can be argued that there are maybe five players who don't just desire a long run deep into the second week – they expect nothing less.

Murray is one of them, and few doubt that he has the ability to win this tournament.

Then New York would really feel like home.

DROP SHOT

American Jesse Levine looked poised to pull off a monumental upset when he took the first two sets against 16th seed Marin Cilic. But Levine lost his nerve when it mattered and saw his game fall apart completely, winning only six games in the final three sets as Cilic marched onward.

CLEAN WINNER

Italian women's tennis is experiencing a dramatic upturn in fortunes this year and Friday was another big day for Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone.

Schiavone upset eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka in a performance full of poise and precision, while Pennetta has conceded just six games in her first three matches and must be favored to beat Vera Zvonareva in Round 4.

UPSET ALERT

Israel's Shahar Peer has dropped only six games in her opening two matches and is in with a chance against sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Peer has slipped down to No. 64 in the rankings but is getting her game back together and is a threat here.

MATCH OF THE DAY

Former U.S. Open finalist and world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero looked like he was being blasted off Court 13 when Philipp Petzschner burst into a two-set lead. But Ferrero, whose resurgence is one of the most uplifting stories of the season, scrapped his way back to clinch a third round spot with a 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

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