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FRENCH OPEN ROUND TWO REVIEW: Murray goes the distance again as Serena marches on

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Andy Murray has progressed into the third round but was once again pushed to five sets, this time by Mathias Bourgue, a wildcard. The Brit, who comfortably led by a set and a break, found himself down two sets to one due to the remarkable shot-making from his French opponent, but Murray dug deep to avoid the upset and ultimately prevailed 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3.

In the first set and early stages of the second set, Murray was very much in control as his overall consistent form was enough to take the upper hand over his opponent, who at times showed flashes of great attacking tennis and exquisite drop shots. However, the Brit was too solid as he comfortably took the opener and established an early break in the second set. But, a catalogue of errors from the world number two saw Bourgue quickly transform the match, breaking twice to edge ahead as Murray’s form had gone off the boil. The Frenchman was growing in confidence as his offensive intent was paying dividends, and a stunning backhand passing shot winner clinched the double break for Bourgue, who confidently closed out the set to level the match.

In the third set, a series of double faults from Murray gifted Bourgue an early break and the Frenchman continued his inspired form, forcing his opponent back behind the baseline. Despite saving more break points and resisting more pressure from Bourgue to force the wildcard to serve for the set, Murray was unable to mount a late response and the nerveless Bourgue took the set with a crunching backhand winner, to move ahead two sets to one.

The early stages of the fourth set saw Murray survive a tough opening game in which Bourgue created several break points, but the Brit’s perseverance and decision to increase his aggression was eventually rewarded when a heavy backhand sealed the decisive break. Murray consolidated it to establish a 4-1 lead and the Frenchman was unable to recover the deficit, surrendering his serve and the set with a double fault to ensure the match would go to a decider.

In the fifth set, Murray was unable to capitalise on an early break point but the Frenchman couldn’t maintain his immaculate form, and an erratic game down 2-1 was ruthlessly punished by the world number two, clinching the break with a powerful backhand that Bourgue couldn’t handle. The Frenchman’s spirit appeared to be broken when he conceded the double break, but he valiantly fought hard to retrieve one back and forced his opponent to serve for the match again. Despite this, Murray was not to be denied and he eventually closed it out at the second time of asking, to book a third round test against the big server Ivo Karlovic.

There were mixed fortunes for the other Brits as Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson fell in straight sets, but Aljaz Bedene overcame Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 6-3 4-6 5-7 6-2 and will go on to face the world number one Novak Djokovic next, after the Serbian beat Steve Darcis in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal produced another dominant win in triumphing 6-3 6-0 6-3 over Facundo Bagnis, whilst Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych all secured their place in the third round.

In the women’s singles matches, Serena Williams continued the defence of her title with a 6-2 6-1 demolition over Teliana Pereira, as Ana Ivanovic, Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska progressed in straight sets. There were also comfortable wins for Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza.

aljaz bedene French Open 2016 Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Serena Williams

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