It was almost 10pm local time at the end of a third day which was interrupted by rain before the defending US Open champion was able to hit his first ball in anger.
Thankfully for the Scot, just 98 minutes later he was back in the locker room, having dispensed of Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
But if the inclement weather which had played havoc with the scheduling on Wednesday had returned, Murray would not have been happy. And rightly so. The desperation of US Open organisers to bow to the all-powerful, all-encompassing TV gods means they want to have a stellar name on in the evening session.
That is all well and good. Yet to have the Scot kicking his heels for over two days having initially told his camp they would start on Tuesday was unacceptable.
Spreading the men's first round over three days - this is the only major where this happens - means that someone would have to be the fall guy. That it was last year's winner and the current Wimbledon champion simply does not sit well.
Naturally, he will expect a fairer rub of the green when he takes on Argentine Leonardo Mayer today, with whom he shares a birthday and had played just once before.
"I think most of the players would like everyone to have played on the first two days," said Murray. "It's done at all of the other slams and it's a slight disadvantage for the players that play on the Wednesday. You want to make it as fair as possible. Now it's fine. If it rained and we hadn't finished, that would be a problem for me.
"You would have to play three five-set matches in four days. That's very difficult. That's hard on the body, especially on this surface. I'm glad I got the match out of the way. I'll be hopefully in a routine from now on and playing every other day if I can get through."
This tournament was always going to be a whole new ball game for Murray, given that he is defending a slam title for the first time, yet the expectation and pressure did not appear to affect him as he routinely despatched Llodra.
The brilliantly eccentric Frenchman is a serve-and-volley player from another age but he played right into Murray's hands.
The 33-year-old was unable to cope with the Scot's consistency - a 68% first-serve percentage, no double faults and just five unforced errors (including none in the first set) compared to 29 from the other end of the court - were the stats which ensured a win in straight sets and an exceedingly good workout.
Late night starts or not, Murray moved well, looked energetic and played with a freedom in the final acts of an enjoyable match which belied any nerves which could accompany a defending champion attempting to regain his crown for the first ever time.
Llodra just couldn't cope and resorted to serving underarm in the final game before throwing his racket at the ball on match point.
"To be honest, I kind of wasn't thinking loads about last year. I just wanted to play the match. Yeah, I just didn't feel any different coming in, which is a good thing," added the Scot. "There weren't any extra nerves. Maybe if I got behind, I might have felt that extra pressure. But I was fine before the match.
"I've been waiting for two days pretty much around the courts just wanting to play my match. That's it.
"Since we got here I have spoken with [coach] Ivan Lendl about what it's like coming back to a tournament being defending champion. It doesn't really make a whole lot of difference. I don't think too many of the other players really care about it, you know, when they're stepping on the court. It's not like they're walking round going, 'Oh, he's defending champion; he's got a chance of winning again.' I don't think it's like that. So you just have to put it to the back of your head, get back on the court. It's good having him around, having him to talk those things through with."
While Murray's progress was straightforward enough, Laura Robson had to show her ever burgeoning mental strength and attitude to see off the impressive Caroline Garcia in straight sets to book a repeat of her match with No.6 seed Li Na - defeated by the British No.1 here at the same stage last year.
Robson's stock has risen dramatically - 12 months ago she faced the former French Open champion as world No.89 but she's here as No.30 - but knows Li will provide a stern test. "I was so nervous last year," she said. "But I just fought through that and she made a lot of mistakes in the first set, which helped quite a lot."
What she wouldn't give for more of the same today.