Murray relieved to progress

Hampshire Chronicle: Andy Murray was happy to battle through to the second round of the French Open Andy Murray was happy to battle through to the second round of the French Open

Andy Murray was content just to avoid an early exit as he battled into the second round of the French Open.

The Wimbledon champion dropped a set on his first appearance at Roland Garros in two years but never looked in real danger of following the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Li Na and Grigor Dimitrov out of the tournament.

Andrey Golubev is a flashy player who, along with the cold and windy conditions, made Murray's life difficult before the Scot ground out a 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The 27-year-old, who missed the tournament last year with back problems, said: "It was tough conditions. It was obviously windy, especially at the beginning of the match, and very heavy conditions, cold and slow.

"He goes for his shots a lot. And there wasn't too much rhythm out there. It was a tricky match.

"I won the match. I did enough. In the third set I didn't serve particularly well. For the rest of the match I did okay. I did what I had to do, and I got myself into the tournament now.

"There have been quite a few upsets here the last few days and tricky conditions. So the most important thing is to get through.

"I've done a good job of that the last few years in the slams. I have not always played my best tennis at the beginning of the tournaments but I found ways to get through and give myself opportunities to do well in these events."

Murray next plays Australian Marinko Matosevic, who won his first match in the main draw of a grand slam at the 13th time of asking against Dustin Brown and celebrated by rolling around in the clay.

Murray has British company in the second round of the singles after Heather Watson continued her winning run with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

The Guernsey player has won nine matches in a row and is guaranteed to overtake the injured Laura Robson to reclaim the British number one spot at the end of the tournament.

It will be tough to go any further, though, given fourth seed Simona Halep, who has rocketed up the rankings in the past year, is her next opponent.

They have played once before, in the first round of the US Open last year, when Watson won the first set before Halep fought back to win in three.

The British player, who has now won her first-round match in Paris on three occasions, was in the midst of a post-glandular fever slump that eventually saw her drop outside the world's top 160.

She has responded in brilliant fashion this season and Tuesday's win was her first in the main draw of a grand slam since the Australian Open last year.

The second round begins on Wednesday, with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova all in action.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree