Andy Murray reaches French Open third round with Joao Sousa win

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Andy Murray
Andy Murray dropped the second set on his way to victory over Joao Sousa
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentaries on every Andy Murray match and other key matches.
  • Murray wins 12th clay-court match in a row
  • Last Briton left in singles draws
  • Wins in two hours and 30 minutes
  • Receives two time violations on his serve

Andy Murray was given a stern test by Joao Sousa before securing his place in the French Open third round.

The Briton, seeded third, won 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-1 to set up a match with Australia's Nick Kyrgios.

Murray began and ended the contest in fine form, but showed his frustration as Portugal's Sousa fought back in the second and third sets.

Fellow British number one Heather Watson lost 6-2 6-4 to American Sloane Stephens on Court Seven.

That leaves Murray as the only remaining Briton in the singles at Roland Garros.

Murray at the French Open
The British number one has twice reached the semi-finals. He first got there in 2011 and again in 2014 but lost to Rafael Nadal on both occasions. The Spaniard is a potential semi-final opponent this year.

The Scot has now taken his clay-court record in 2015 to 12-0.

However, his first meeting with Sousa on clay proved a far tougher challenge than his five straight-sets wins over the Portuguese on hard courts.

"For a lot of the match I played very well," Murray told BBC Sport.

"I didn't really help myself in the second set. I served badly, which made it difficult.

"Then at the end of that second set he was able to dictate a lot of the points, and he played very well at the beginning of the third set and had some chances there as well.

Time violations were fair - Murray

"I was happy with the way I was able to turn it around and make some adjustments out there on the court, which turned the match in my favour."

Another regulation victory appeared likely when he powered through the first set, dropping just three points on serve.

That area of his game began to falter as the skies darkened in the second set, a first-serve percentage of just 36% allowing Sousa to tee off with his forehand especially.

Murray was given a time violation on his way to dropping serve at 3-5 and, after reclaiming the break immediately in an intense game - screaming "Let's Go!" - he let his serve slip once more to hand over the set.

He was now up against an opponent, and a crowd, that was buzzing with expectancy, and Sousa had two chances to break early in the third, only to fire a return long and watch as an ace flew past him.

A second time violation, which led to the loss of a first serve, did nothing to brighten Murray's mood.

"Probably I was playing too slow and I didn't argue at all with the umpire," he explained.

"It was just on the second one, I was up at the line in good time but they were still playing the highlight of the point before, so I didn't serve when that was going on.

"I tried to speed up after that and I think I did a good job of that."

Murray was becoming increasingly mired in a battle, urging himself to "calm down, calm down", but as the threat of a storm overhead passed, so Murray's mind cleared.

A blistering backhand winner down the line gave him a break point at 3-3 and a heavy forehand into the corner clinched a lead he would not relinquish.

Murray served out the set and broke at the start of the fourth, before whipping a cross-court forehand winner for 3-0 that brought coach Amelie Mauresmo to her feet in the stands.

The two-time semi-finalist closed out the match in a similar vein to how he had started, breaking again to wrap up victory in two hours and 30 minutes.

Andy Murray being interviewed
Murray was bemused to be interviewed by a kilt-wearing Fabrice Santoro at the end of his match