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French Open: Battling Murray completes comeback

Radek Stepanek was unable to complete a shock victory over Andy Murray, who battled back to reach the French Open second round.

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World number two Andy Murray completed his comeback to progress to the French Open second round with a hard-fought 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory over Radek Stepanek.

Murray had been given a real scare by the 37-year-old on Monday, struggling on serve as he was broken four times in the opening two sets.

Nine games in a row saw Murray pull a set back and move into a 4-2 lead in the fourth before play was halted for bad light, but Murray's path to victory on Tuesday was by no means a walk in the park.

After clinching the interrupted fourth set, it was not until Stepanek's form deserted him in the 11th game of the decider that Murray had a clear sight of victory, and the Scot converted his second match point to tee up a second-round clash with French wildcard Mathias Bourgue.

Having had a night to sleep on his below-par showing on Monday, Murray survived two break points and squandered a chance to clinch the fourth set 6-2 before eventually prevailing on his own serve.

Stepanek continued to be placed under huge pressure on his serve but survived another break point in the opening game of the decider, getting the crowd on side as Murray showed signs of frustration.

Another wasted chance for a break at 2-2 established a worrying trend for Murray, but he won to love in the next to give himself a timely confidence boost.

Stepanek returned the favour to go 5-4 in front, ending Murray's run of pushing the Czech all the way on his own serve, but the veteran's next service game proved decisive.

After Murray battled hard to stay on terms in the 10th game, a series of careless unforced errors saw Stepanek collapse when it most mattered, handing his opponent the chance to serve for the match.

And, despite forcing Murray to deuce, Stepanek was unable to pull off a shock win, sending a shot long to give a relieved Murray the victory.




Murray [2] bt Stepanek 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5



Murray - 39/35

Stepanek - 57/74



Murray - 14

Stepanek - 4



Murray - 6/10

Stepanek - 4/8



Murray - 66

Stepanek - 62



Murray - 70/55

Stepanek - 64/44



Murray - 155

Stepanek - 132

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