LITESPORT 42 Wednesday, 2 September 2009 London Lite Fall-guy Murrays still standing in New YorkNovak no longer on his Todd NOVAK DJOKOVIC is copying great friend Andy Murray by creating a team to help him regain lost ground at the top of the sport. Todd Martin, the former American star, has been signed up to boost the World No4s challenge for the US Open title. Murray has assembled a group of trainers and coaches and brings in Spains Alex Corretja during the clay court part of the season for specialist help. Djokovic (above), the former Australian Open champion, wants to win the US title this year and sees Martin as a key component in that plan. Djokovic, who reached the second round yesterday by defeating Croatias Ivan Ljubicic 6-3,6-1,6-3, could face Murray in the final, but doubtless Federer and Nadal will have other ideas. Brit Hutch crashes out ROSS HUTCHINS saw his US Open doubles campaign end at the first fence as the Briton and Australias Stephen Huss were defeated by Guillermo Garcia- Lopez and Olivier Rochus. Hutchins and Huss, seeded 15th in the mens doubles, were beaten 2-6 6-4 6-4 by the Spanish-Belgian partnership. The final set went with serve until the seventh game when Huss failed to hold his serve, having saved three break points. Saf blushing at Flushing DINARA SAFINA survived a major scare in the opening round of the US Open as she battled past unheralded Olivia Rogowska. The World No1 was forced to come from a set down in the Arthur Ashe Stadium to take a 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-4 victory against the Australian in two hours and 35 mins. Safina (left) reached the last four at Flushing Meadows last year, but was fortunate to advance to the second round against a player ranked 166 places below her in the world rankings. Dazzling Sharapovas thrilled to be back MARIA SHARAPOVA made a stylish return to the US Open when she walloped Bulgarias Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3 6-0 to reach the second round. The Russian was in sparkling form under the floodlights and gave Pironkova a dressing down in 73 minutes. Sharapova, who is working her way back after nine months out with a shoulder injury, won seven games in a row to book a second-round encounter with American wildcard Christina McHale. A year after skipping the tournament to undergo rehabilitation on her shoulder in Arizona, Sharapova was delighted to be back on the stage where she lifted the famous silver cup in 2006. Its amazing, Sharapova, seeded 29th, told the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Being out almost a whole year, its all worth it when you step on the court, you hear all the cheering and feel the atmosphere. You forget what you are doing it all for but when you feel this you remember. BY JAMES GOLDMANWhata racquet:Maria Sharapova backwitha bang ANDY MURRAY took a fall in New York last night but kept two feet firmly on the ground for most of his solid first round triumph over Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The world No2 won 7-5, 6-3, 7-5 under floodlights on the noisy Arthur Ashe arena despite taking a bruising tumble during the ninth game of the final set. Murray, beaten in the final by Roger Federer last year, had been given the primetime spot for American television and saw off the world No 95 in two hours, 17 minutes. The Scott was assisted by an inconsist- ent Gulbis, who made 46 winners and 51 unforced errors compared to Murrays 33 and 21 respectively. Murraysaid:WhenIneededto,Iupped my game. I thought it was good, a high standard. I had a few chances in the third set to go up breaks. I had 0-30 in the first game, maybe 0-40 in the second service game. When it was on serve and I needed to, I didnt give him many chances. My concentration could have beenabitbetterbutforafirst match I thought it was very goodbecauseheplayedvery well, a lot better than at Wimbledon. His relatively smooth progresswasjoltedinthe final set when he made a mad dash to retrieve a half-volley and ended up sprawled on the rubbery hardcourt. Maybe it will hurt in the morning for a little bit, but I dont think it did any damage, he said. Murrays fall came shortlyafterasimilarly spectacular tumble by a ballboy, who clattered into a photographers box. T he yo u n g s t e r s return to court after a brief recovery period brought a huge ovation from the boisterous New Yorkers. Murray grinned: When the kid fell over, you wouldnt get that at any of the other Grand Slams where hes up on the big screen and the crowd get into it. Its one of the biggest stadiums in the world and its probably the coolestatmosphereoutof allof the Slams. Hopefully Ill play a lot of my matches on there. Murrays win sets up a second- round match with Chiles world No 87 Paul Capdeville. He said: I used to train with Paul in Barcelona when I was 16, 17, so I know him pretty well. We had the same coach, trained at the same academy and we did one or two trips together. IwenttoSouthAmericawithhimand we played a bit of doubles. Im sure a lot of people wont know him that well, but I know him relatively well and there wont be any surprises. He won comfortably today so its going to be a tough match but I played well tonight. There were other positive develop- mentsforMurrayinNewYork.Potential third and fourth round opponents Ivo Karlovic and Stanislas Wawrinka both suffered surprise defeats. But Murray said: If I lose the next rounditsirrelevantwhatthosetwohave done, so Ill try to just focus on the next match. Murray never looked like following Karlovic and Wawrinka out of the tour- nament at the first hurdle, despite occasional moments of brilliance from the talented Gulbis, a 6ft 3in giant who rose as high as 38th in the world last year. BY NEAL COLLINS IandserveonwasitWhen needed to, I didnt give him many My concentration could have rstfiaforbutbetterbitabeen match I thought it was very veryplayedhebecausegood atthanbetterlotawell, smoothrelativelyHis theinjoltedwasprogress nal set when he made afi aretrievetodashmad upendedandhalf-volley rubberytheonsprawled Maybe it will hurt in the morning for a little bit, but I dont think it camefallMurrays similarlyaaftershortly spectacular tumble by a intoclatteredwhoballboy, yo u n g s t e r sT he return to court after a periodrecoverybrief brought a huge ovation from the boisterous New Yorkers. fellkidtheWhengrinned:Murray over, you wouldnt get that at any of the other Grand Slams where hes up on the big screen and the crowd get into it. instadiumsbiggesttheofoneIts theprobablyitsandworldthe theofallofoutatmospherecoolest Slams. Hopefully Ill play a lot of my matches on there. Murrays win sets up a second- round match with Chiles world No 87 Paul Capdeville. He said: Down but not out: Andy Murray tumbles in New York last night before going on to win his US Open first round encounter, left index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html