Murray battles into quarters
Andy Murray came back from a set down to beat Denis Istomin 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 6-4 and book his spot in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The defending champion was not at the top of his game as he struggled to assert himself against an opponent who possessed a fearsome forehand.
But he did enough to come through in the crucial moments and his grand slam experience ultimately told against the world No 65. Murray will now face Stanislas Wawrinka for a place in the last four.
Murray was overpowered regularly by his Uzbek opponent in the opening set but started to take the initiative thereafter.
"I started trying to dictate the points a bit more, especially from the side when I had the wind with me," Murray said.
"I started trying to use my forehand a little bit more and that was basically it.
"I had a few chances to win the first set, I was up 5-3 in the breaker and lost four points straight, so it was just minor adjustments."
The opening exchanges were cagey with Murray serving two double faults in his first game, and the third seed fell a break behind when Istomin pounced on his serve for a 5-3 advantage.
He promptly handed the break back, however, and a tie-break was needed to separate the two at the end of the first set.
Murray had edged ahead 5-3 but threw that advantage, and the set, away with a double fault and an error on the backhand side.
The Wimbledon champion made a much better start to the second, a fizzing forehand helped him break in the second game and he did not look back as he levelled matters in dominant style.
Murray broke again at the start of the third set but gave his lead away three games later. His forehand was beginning to really fire, though, and he finally converted a fourth chance to break in the seventh game and went on to take the set.
The fourth set went with serve until Murray applied the pressure in the ninth game, although he only secured the deciding break after a huge stroke of luck when his framed forehand somehow looped in, allowing Murray to gain the winning advantage.