Former champion Juan Martin del Potro was made to work on a wet Wednesday, with the sixth seed squeezing into the second round of the US Open after fighting off a challenge from Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The Argentine came through on his fourth match point for a 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) win on a day badly delayed by rain.

The night-time finish sends del Potro into the next round against German Peter Gojowczyk, who beat Igor Sijsling 7-6 (9-7), 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Quick win for Murray

Andy Murray shrugged off any risk of distraction from a rain delay and recorded a straight-sets victory over Michael Llodra to begin his title defence in authoritative style.

Murray put on a near flawless performance to notch a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

The Scot made only five unforced errors, while compiling 34 winners in the 1-hour, 38-minute match.

In other results, Marcos Baghdatis beat Go Soeda 6-4, 6-3, 6-1, South African Kevin Anderson stopped German Daniel Brands 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Russian Mikhail Youzhny put out France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

Radwanska, Li Na advance

Women’s seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na got in quick second round wins early in the day before rain and the threat of lightning arrived in the afternoon in the first of the weather delays.

The conditions forced officials to cancel matches, including four featuring women’s seeds: number one Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Jelena Jankovic and Sabine Lisicki.

Radwanska beat Spain’s Maria Torro-Flor 6-0, 7-5 while Li defeated Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-2. Radwanska got through in just under 90 minutes, helped by 10 double-faults from her Spanish opponent.

Li struck 29 winners to just four for her opponent and was relieved to get off court quickly.

“I was a little bit happy, because at least I’m done for my job today,” Li said, adding that she felt lucky to finish before the rain came.

“I didn’t have to wait and warm up and come to the court again.”

Venus falls

Briton Laura Robson played with painkillers for a healing wrist injury to beat Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) while Zheng Jie of China beat former champion Venus Williams 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).

“I definitely wish that I was playing the third round, but it’s not to be for me this year,” said Venus. “I tried, really, she played well. She just went for every shot. Unfortunately I didn’t play consistently enough.”

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