Andy Murray survived a real battle and the first (failed) use of VAR in tennis last night as he eased into the second round of the US Open.

The former champion, making his 17th appearance at Flushing Meadows, had to save two set points in the second set but eventually prevailed 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 against Frenchman Corentin Moutet, who brought his usual brand of chaos to the occasion.

“It was amazing, a brilliant atmosphere, against one of the most skilful players on the Tour,” said Murray, who now plays Grigor Dimitrov.

“He has so many different ways to disrupt you, he’s an excellent player, moves extremely well, always cause a little chaos. I’m happy to get through in straight sets because second set was very tight.”

Murray showed no sign of the abdominal injury that caused him to pull out of his last event in Cincinnati and he was brilliant at the net, winning 49 of 71 points there.

“I feel good,” he said. “The preparation was slightly tricky, I had to slowly build my serving up (but) I was quite happy with how I served today and I moved well.”

Moutet is one of the most talented players on the Tour, able to conjure up anything with his wand of a left hand and even in a one-sided first set, he showed he was up for the fight.

A right wrist injury, which has seen him off the Tour at times this year, meant he was unable to hit a two-handed backhand, but his slice was just as effective and he began to show his full range in the second set.

The Frenchman broke for 3-2 in the second set and at 5-4 had the chance to serve it out and level the match. But his lack of confidence showed on two set points and Murray broke back, leaving the left-hander to smash his racket.

Murray broke again to take the second set and after Moutet came from 0-40 down twice, he finally grabbed the vital break to lead 5-3.

At 15-30, umpire Louise Engzell ruled that Moutet had not got to a Murray drop shot on the first bounce but the Frenchman asked for a challenge, bringing VAR into use for the first time at a tennis event.

Or it should have done, only for the technology to fail. “Unfortunately the VAR is not working,” she said. “What you are watching on the screens is from TV. Call stands”.

The irony was probably not lost on Murray, as a football fan, and though he still had to save a break point, he served out for victory.

Strength in numbers makes a big difference when you are a long way from home and it’s been apparent right from the start of the US Open this week that Britain’s tennis players are in good spirits.

Being in a good place off the court usually leads to good results on it. The Brits have been dining together and supporting each other and the feel-good factor is growing after Cam Norrie and Katie Boulter extended the perfect start of the nation's players at this year's event.

After a shocking summer by his standards, which saw him lose his first match in each of the three tournaments he played – Los Cabos, Toronto and Cincinnati – Norrie looked back to his best as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Alexander Shevchenko of Russia.

“I played well in the big moments, served well and I was enjoying myself,” Norrie said. “A lot of points were on my terms, a lot of physical rallies, long points, and the courts were quite slow. I think it played into my hands. It was a good performance and overall, I was moving solid, and I did everything pretty well.”

Norrie broke once in the first set and twice each in the second and third, saving the only break point he faced and generally looking much more like the man who beat Carlos Alcaraz to win the title in Rio earlier this year.

And world No 1 and defending champion Alcaraz had a hand, it seems, in Norrie finding his game and mojo again.

“I was pretty nervous coming in,” Norrie said. “I had a couple of tough losses and the confidence wasn’t where I wanted it to be so I wanted to do well.

“When I got here, I was able to get good quality in my sessions and I was really enjoying the practices. I got to practice yesterday with (Carlos) Alcaraz. Had a really good practice, I think it really set the tone yesterday and I was able to put it into my match today.”

Norrie also said a trip back to his old US college allowed him to refresh his mind, playing some golf with his old coach.

“I lost early in Cincinnati and it was too early to come here so I was able to just go there and rest and practice on those courts again, just be on those courts and kind of reset.

“It was really enjoyable to go there and see everyone there. But it was insanely hot. It was like over 40 (degrees) every day. So, trying to practice early. Then came here, and it was, like, nothing. It was so easy to play in the heat here. It was a good few days.”

Boulter set the ball rolling earlier in the day with a fine performance as she beat Diane Parry of France 6-4, 6-0 to record her first US Open victory.

Having won a round at Wimbledon earlier this summer, Boulter is now set to rise to another career-high ranking of 53, testament to her improvement this year.

“I just want to consolidate my ranking and really show that week in, week out I can play these girls and get a lot of wins against them. I think that's what's really going to build my confidence,” she said.

“I didn't get the chance to do it before when I was inside 100, and I feel like I finally got my feet settled and now is my time to really push on.”