PARIS, May 25, 2016
The bottom half of the men’s draw was in second round action on Wednesday at Roland Garros. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka both came through tough five-set first round matches and the British world number two was forced to go the distance again.
Murray battled past French wild card Mathias Bourgue, who made his Grand Slam debut, winning 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The 29-year-old from Dunblane lost his service five times but converted tseven of his own 16 break point chances. Murray produced 38 unforced errors, hitting 46 winners to secure victory in three hours and 34 minutes.
“Today certainly wasn’t easy. I mean, I lost my way on the court today for quite a while. So to turn it around and find a way to win after a period, where I was struggling to win points. I was losing a lot of games at love. It felt like every time the ball was in the middle of the court he was hitting winners. I couldn’t see where his shots were going. Yeah, it was a big struggle but managed to get the win,” Murray told after playing the first back to back five setters in 11 years. The last one took place at the US-Open 2005.
“It was a pretty stressful couple of days. You know, coming back the next day and playing, it’s not easy. And the fifth set I played against Radek (Stepanek) was tense. So it was tough, but a lot of that is down to the way that he played, as well. I have never seen him play a match before. I watched some video this morning and he was really good, as well.”
Murray will face Ivo Karlovic next, who overcame Australian wild card Jordan Thompson 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 12, 10 in four hours and 31 minutes.
“Normally against Ivo, the sets are very close. You play a lot of tiebreaks because he’s so tough to break. But the points are not physically demanding, so that’s why it’s not always easy to play against him, but right now I’d take that as positive.”
Reigning Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka dismissed Taro Daniel, winning 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. The third seed from Switzerland won 81% of his first service points, firing 12 aces and 62 winners. Wawrinka sealed victory in two hours and seven minutes.
“It was a good match. I’m happy to get through in three sets. For sure it was some up and down, could have been better, but winning three sets, it’s always good, and in general I think it’s been a good day,” Wawrinka was pleased afterwards and awaits Jeremy Chardy in the next round.
“He’s a dangerous player. He’s playing really fast and heavy, big serve, heavy stroke from the baseline and always trying to use his forehand. He’s playing at home. Normally he loves to play here at the French Open. I will have to play better. It really depends how I play, how I feel. I know what to do against him. If I can put my game there, I will have all the solution in my game.”
The tournament’s number five Kei Nishikori, who recorded his 50th Grand Slam match-win when defeating Simone Bolelli in the opening round, advanced to the third round, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 over Andrey Kuznetsov. The 26-year-old from Japan capitalized on six of his eight break point chances, hitting 31 winners to prevail in one hour and 48 minutes.
“I had a tough opponent today. He started very good, hitting the balls pretty flat and early. After 3-1 down I tried to change it up a little bit and it started to work better. In the second and third set I think I played pretty good tennis. Happy with my tennis today,” Nishikori said.