Murray pushed to five sets in Paris


May 26, 2016
Venus Williams of the United States slams a forehand to Estonia's Anett Kontaveit during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on Tuesday in Paris. Williams won 7-6, 7-6. (AP Photo)


As if ordering room

service, Andy Murray's latest unheralded French Open tormentor requested that a can of Coke and a Mars bar be brought to him right there on Court Philippe Chatrier for sustenance during their five-setter.

Truth is, it was Murray who appeared in need of a jolt of some sort, especially while he was losing 16 points in a row during one stretch.

"I lost my way on the court today," Murray said, "for quite a while."

For now, Murray is still in the mix at Roland Garros, reaching the third round by coming from behind yet again to win 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 yesterday against French wild-card entry Mathias Bourgue, who was playing in the second tour-level match of his life. The second-seeded Murray acknowledged that he can't keep getting pushed to the limit if he has designs on adding a third Grand Slam title to his collection.

"I need to go and rest," said Murray, already on court for 10 sets and more than seven hours. "It's been a tough, tough few days."

Sure has.

Murray, three times a semi-finalist in Paris, never had won consecutive five-set matches in any tournament. But he twice overcame a set deficit before edging 37-year-old qualifier Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in a first-round match suspended by darkness Monday and completed Tuesday.

Bourgue's level eventually dropped, but Murray deserves credit for limiting his own mistakes down the stretch. Murray made a combined 10 unforced errors over the last two sets, after having at least that many in each of the first three.

When it was over, Murray looked at his guest box and pointed at his heart.

"Maybe not feeling or playing my best," Murray said, "but found a way to win."

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