Sunday 11 December 2016

Murray scrapes through after major scare against French wildcard

Nigel Whittaker

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

Andy Murray consoles the defeated Mathias Bourgue following the Men's Singles second round match on day four of the 2016 French Open (Getty Images)
Andy Murray consoles the defeated Mathias Bourgue following the Men's Singles second round match on day four of the 2016 French Open (Getty Images)

Mathias Bourgue got exactly what he expected in his second-round match against Andy Murray at the French Open - he lost, but the French wildcard left the Philippe Chatrier Court confident he'll do better one day.

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Bourgue, the French No 16, is ranked 164th in the world, but he led the tournament second seed two sets to one. He won 16 points in a row in an eight-game winning streak that helped him claim the second set in impressive fashion.

He lost 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3 as he eventually ran out of gas.

"Losing against Murray is what I was expecting, so I wasn't really that tense," Bourgue said. "Then when I got the break, and then again, I all of a sudden was able to relax and sort of play with the crowd. I was able to manage and stay on top of my emotions.

"This makes me realise how much progress I have made over the past six, seven months."

Murray got off to a solid start, opening a 6-2 2-0 lead, and there was no indication of the coming meltdown.

"I'm not sure I have ever had such a game level. It's interesting. I didn't feel like I was on the edge. I felt good," said Bourgue.

Satisfied

"He wasn't playing very rapidly. I felt he was giving me time to play, so I decided to just accept the rallies and every once in a while, make a big shot. I'm quite satisfied about some of the winning shots I was able to make."

Murray could only manage 12 points in the second set.

"There won't be many sets in the year where that's the case, so it's fairly rare," said the Scot.

"I was trying to find a way. It wasn't like I was not there mentally, but I just couldn't find the court. I was missing balls."

Next up for Murray is Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who became the oldest man to reach the third round of a grand slam for 25 years when the 37-year-old came through a marathon five-setter against Australian Jordan Thompson.

Karlovic, seeded 27, banged down 41 aces in a 6-7 (2) 6-3 7-6 (3) 6-7 (4) 12-10 victory against the 22-year-old wildcard.

"It's the only time when being old is okay," said Karlovic, a first-round casualty in seven of his previous 10 appearances at Roland Garros, after a four hour 32 minute epic.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska took advantage of Caroline Garcia's weak serve to advance into the third round with a 6-2 6-4 victory. The Pole broke six times as her French opponent looked nothing like the player who won the Strasbourg International last Saturday.

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