Andy Murray felt the heat in more ways than one as he survived a tough encounter with Feliciano Lopez to reach the fourth round of the US Open.
The third seed had beaten the Spaniard in all of their six previous meetings, mostly very comfortably, but there was nothing comfortable about this encounter as Murray eventually came through 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-6 (7/4) after three hours and 53 minutes.
The Scot began to struggle physically in the third set in very hot and humid conditions in New York and looked in real trouble at times in the fourth, but showed tremendous character to keep his title hopes alive. "It was tough. It was physically challenging. I actually felt better towards the end of the match than I did maybe halfway through it," the 25-year-old said.
Murray usually goes to Miami for a training block after Wimbledon, which was not the case this year because of the Olympics, and is feeling the effects now.
"I think it was probably down to a combination of things, having not played that much in these conditions. It's just taking a while to get used to it." he continued.
"Normally we get that three-week training block in Miami before we come over to the States. Because of the Olympics we obviously missed that so it's been tough.
"It's a quick court that one as well. Feliciano has one of the best serves in the game so there's some games that were frustrating at times because you have no say in how the points go.
"The last few sets were tough. I just played a little bit better at the end of the tie-breaks, a little bit more solid than him, and that was the difference. But I had chances. Mentally it was quite a challenging match because I was up a break in two of the last three sets."
Victory set up a last-16 clash with Milos Raonic.
The Canadian is the brightest of the game's rising stars and he showed what a danger he could be to Murray with a crushing 6-3 6-0 7-6 (7/3) victory over American wild card James Blake.