Murray grits through cramps to win at US Open

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Murray grits through cramps to win at US Open
Angelique Kerber, of Germany, reacts after a shot against Ksenia Pervak, of Russia, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Ksenia Pervak, of Russia, serves against Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Angelique Kerber, of Germany, waves to the crowd after defeating Ksenia Pervak, of Russia, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, returns a shot against Blaz Rola, of Slovenia, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, returns a shot against Blaz Rola, of Slovenia, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Andy Murray, of the United Kingdom, returns a shot against Robin Haase, of the Netherlands, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kimiko Date-Krumm, of Japan, returns a shot against Venus Williams, of the United States, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Andy Murray, of the United Kingdom, reacts after winning the first set against Robin Haase, of the Netherlands, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Robin Haase, of the Netherlands, tries to rally the crowd during a tie break against Andy Murray, of the United Kingdom, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Mikhail Youzhny, of Russia, reacts after a point against Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Julien Benneteau, of France, returns a shot against Benoit Paire, of France, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Aleksandra Wozniak, of Canada, returns shot against Kurumi Nara, of Japan, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Tennis fans cheer for Andy Murray, of the United Kingdom, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Benoit Paire, of France, returns a shot against Julien Benneteau, of France, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Venus Williams, of the United States, returns a shot against Kimiko Date-Krumm, of Japan, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, lunges for a shot against Sharon Fichman, of Canada, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, reacts after a shot against Sharon Fichman, of Canada, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Sharon Fichman, of Canada, returns a shot against Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Serena Williams practices serving on a practice court before playing in the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Lucie Safarova, of the Czech Republic, reacts after a shot against Timea Babos, of Hungary, during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Simona Halep, of Romania, reacts after a shot against Danielle Rose Collins, of the United States, in the first round during the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Tennis player Serena Williams appears at US Open Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
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By RACHEL COHEN

NEW YORK (AP) -- Spinning in 70 mph second serves, grabbing at his hamstrings, Andy Murray gritted his way through cramps to win his first-round match at the U.S. Open.

The eighth-seeded Murray beat Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-5 on a steamy Monday. He started cramping in the back of his shoulder early in the third set, then it spread to his forearm.

Murray reached for his hamstring in the middle of one rally and still won the point. After hitting a winner, he'd twisted his body to awkwardly stretch his left side.

"I tried to hang around the best I could and managed to get through," the two-time major champion said during an on-court interview.

Murray was twice down a break in the fourth set, but Haase unraveled with a string of unforced errors. The 70th-ranked Haase wasted three break points in the final game, when he was also hurt by a missed call.

Up 5-3 earlier in the set, Haase double-faulted on break point to allow Murray to get back on serve. Murray then went up 6-5 when he took Haase's second serve high and whacked a forehand winner.

With Murray trying to serve out the match, Haase smacked a deep return on his second break point that would have put him in good position to win the game. The ball was called out, and after it was overturned on review, they had to replay the point. This time, Haase hit a volley into the net.

"Parts of that match weren't particularly pretty to watch," said Murray, who rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Haase in the second round of the 2011 U.S. Open.

Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic were to play under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first night session of the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

Venus Williams, 34, beat 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the day's second match in Ashe. Second-ranked Simona Halep merited the honor of kicking off the tournament on center court. The stage proved imposing at first, and Halep needed to rally from a set down to beat a young American making her Grand Slam debut.

The Romanian won 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-2 over 20-year-old Danielle Rose Collins. As a sophomore at Virginia, an unseeded Collins won the NCAA title to earn a wild card into the U.S. Open.

The French Open runner-up, Halep reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 this month. She has never advanced past the fourth round at the U.S. Open.

"My best moment of my life - I have to enjoy this," she said in an on-court interview after the match. "But it's not easy. There's a lot of pressure on me. Everyone is telling me that I have chances to win."

For Collins, she expected to return 24 hours later to a far smaller venue: a college classroom.

"Summer was too much fun," she said.

Hobbled by injuries during the season, Collins rolled through the NCAA tournament to become the Cavaliers' first women's singles champion in May.

She had never before even played a main draw match at a tour-level event. She started right at the top by playing in Ashe.

"It was amazing," Collins said. "I mean, I could get used to that."

Ranked 47th at the end of 2012, Halep's rapid rise booked her as the opening act in the cavernous confines of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Her reaction when she found out: "Wow."

"It's not easy to see that you play first match of tournament on center court," she said. "But, you know, I have experience now. I didn't manage very well the emotions, but it's good that I finished well."

Sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber also needed three sets to outlast qualifier Ksenia Pervak 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, coming back from down a break in the third set.

Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska had no such trouble. She beat Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes, losing just three points in the second set.

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