Andy Murray beats Ivan Dodig

Updated: August 30, 2012, 1:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Andy Murray is getting some unusual questions at this year's U.S. Open -- and they have nothing to do with his newfound status as Olympic gold medalist for Britain.

The queries have to do with the nude photos of Prince Harry that a British tabloid used.

After reaching the third round at the U.S. Open for the seventh year in a row, beating 118th-ranked Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday night, Murray joked during his on-court interview about how he's dealing with extra attention.

"It has been a little bit different. I've had a few people with cameras waiting outside my hotel, asking very strange questions," Murray said with a smile. "Did I see the pictures of Prince Harry? I said, 'No comment.' And then they asked what I thought of the crown jewels. I didn't comment on that, either."

Against Dodig, who never has made it past the second round at any Grand Slam tournament, the third-seeded Murray saved all three break points he faced.

Murray was the runner-up at Wimbledon this year, joining his coach, Ivan Lendl, as the only men in tennis history to lose their first four major finals. Murray also fell one win shy of a title at the U.S. Open in 2008, and the Australian Open at 2010 and 2011.

As the first man to get into the third round this year, Murray gets a chance to rest a bit. He isn't slated to play his next match until Saturday.

Asked whether he has plans to enjoy the Big Apple's nightlife, Murray said: "With the coach that I've got, I'm sure that I'll be on the practice court tomorrow, unfortunately."

Earlier, American John Isner needed nearly 3 hours to win a four-set match in the first round. Isner, seeded ninth, outlasted Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-3, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (9).

He's now 37-13 in tiebreakers this year.

This one ended in eerily similar fashion to his victory in the Winston-Salem final Saturday. At 9-9 in a tiebreaker in the last set then, Tomas Berdych had a chance for a winner, but his forehand hit the net cord and bounced out, giving Isner match point. On Wednesday, Malisse pushed an easy backhand volley into the net at 9-9 to hand Isner match point.

The 57th-ranked Malisse argued with fans and the chair umpire on multiple occasions during the match.

David Ferrer opened his tournament with a result befitting a top-four seed.

Ranked fifth, Ferrer moved up a spot because fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal is out with knee problems. Ferrer beat 34th-ranked Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

It was potentially a tough first-round matchup for Ferrer: Anderson made the third round at Flushing Meadows each of the last two years. But Ferrer was in control throughout, facing just three break points -- all in the third set -- and saving all of them.

"It was not easy match, no, with Anderson," Ferrer said. "He's a really good player. He's very strong first and second serve. I'm happy."

In a first-round match, Brian Baker of the U.S. continued his strong 2012, defeating Jan Hajek 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic rallied from down two sets to beat 129th-ranked Guillaume Rufin 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 3 hours, 37 minutes.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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