Sep 2 2012
Andy Murray is hoping his gruelling third-round win over Feliciano Lopez can make him stronger for the greater tests to come at tennis' US Open.
The Scot.wore a t-shirt in his press conference after that victory which read "sweat is weakness leaving the body", and he needed almost four hours in blistering New York heat to see off an opponent he had beaten comfortably in all but one of their previous six meetings.
The third seed is confident, though, that rather than hindering his title chances, the experience can actually help him. He said: "The best training you can do sometimes is on the match court. Obviously not getting that many matches in on the hard courts and in these conditions before probably didn't help."
He continued: "I hope it's a benefit, if anything. I need to spend time on the court. I need to go through tough moments, tough situations, because I've been in pressure situations recently but not necessarily physically-demanding conditions."
With fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga losing early, rising star Milos Raonic, Murray's next opponent, looks to be the biggest obstacle to a probable semi-final meeting with Roger Federer. The confident 21-year-old is one of the game's biggest servers and beat Murray in their only previous meeting, on clay in Barcelona earlier this year.
The Scot said: "He has a huge serve. He's improved a lot from the back of the court. He goes for his second serve as well. He can serve some doubles but also get free points from his second serve, too.
"It's a similar kind of match to playing (John) Isner. He has the same power on the serve as Isner. He probably can't hit the spots that Isner can because of the height, but is maybe a little bit more solid from the back of the court. This is his best year on the tour so far and it will be tough."
Raonic, seeded 15th here, has been tipped by many pundits as a future grand slam champion, and Murray would not disagree. The Canadian has pushed Federer hard in all their three meetings this year while, in the second round of the Olympics, he lost out in a titanic struggle with Tsonga 25-23 in the deciding set.
Murray said: "I think he obviously has the potential. When you have big, big weapons, that helps.
"He's had some good wins this year. He's also had some tough losses. He's obviously playing better and better. He's gaining experience all the time. He's definitely going to be dangerous."