Andy Murray wins in five sets to reach French Open third round

Andy Murray
Andy Murray posted this Monopoly image on Instagram after playing back-to-back five-set matches across three consecutive days at the French Open
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 22 May to 5 June
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app.

World number two Andy Murray had to fight back to beat wildcard Mathias Bourgue in five sets and secure his place in the French Open third round.

The British number one lost eight consecutive games to drop the second and then the third sets to the inspired 22-year-old Grand Slam debutant.

But Murray, 29, used all his experience to seal a 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over the world number 164 from France.

Fellow Briton Kyle Edmund lost 6-4 6-4 6-4 to American 15th seed John Isner.

Aljaz Bedene, who plays on Thursday, is the only other British player left in the singles tournaments in Paris.

Murray was also taken to five sets in the first round by veteran Czech Radek Stepanek.

The Scot's inconsistent form has been perplexing considering he beat Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final in his last match on clay.

He now goes on to face 27th seed Ivo Karlovic from Croatia in the third round on Friday.

What Murray said

"Mathias was excellent and made me run a lot. He's got a fantastic future for sure.

"I led 6-2 2-0 then he started playing unbelievably and I was finding it hard to win points, let alone games. I've played matches like this before and just tried to fight through to the end.

"You can't play too many matches like this if you want to go far in this tournament. I hope to win the next one a little bit faster."

Murray told BBC Sport he could not explain his inconsistent form, adding: "I just lost my way".

He has already been on court for more than seven hours with back-to-back five-set matches across three consecutive days.

Lacklustre Murray's game falls apart

Murray looked in complete control at 2-0 up in the second set, but his game collapsed in spectacular fashion.

Bourgue, who had never played a Tour-level match before this week, broke Murray three times and won six games in a row, including 16 unanswered points, to take the set and level the match.

The pattern continued as Murray double-faulted twice and made further unforced errors in the opening game of the next set.

Murray finally broke Bourgue's eight-game winning run by taking the third game of the set.

Mathias Bourgue
Bourgue was facing a top-50 player for the first time in his career

Bourgue was also dominant on his own serve, holding to love six times out of seven, as a subdued Murray, having now lost 28 out of the last 32 points, continued to make mistakes.

The Frenchman had three break points in the next game but Murray - yet to show any of the passion evident during his tussle with Stepanek - battled back to hold serve.

Bourgue continued to produce an array of winners, including the deftest of drop shots, and secured the set with a stunning backhand down the line to leave Murray facing an almighty battle to stay in the tournament.

Murray battles back

The Frenchman had three chances to break Murray in the opening game of the fourth but crucially the Scot held on, and celebrated with his trademark roar and a fist-pump.

At last Murray broke Bourgue's serve and followed that by holding his own to love, as confidence slowly returned to his game.

With Bourgue perhaps struggling with his fitness, Murray started to make his opponent work harder and clinched the set with a break to love to level the match.

Murray sensed his opportunity and took advantage of some rare errors to break the Frenchman in the fourth game of the decider.

The Briton served for the match at 5-1 but failed to close it out before finally sealing victory after three hours and 34 minutes on court.

Bourgue hit more winners (55 to Murray's 46), produced fewer unforced errors (44 to Murray's 45) and won 138 points compared to Murray's tally of 137.

"I'd been waiting for this for a long time, that's what I play tennis for. I'm happy even if I lost," Bourgue said. "It will remain a great memory."


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

"The tennis played by Mathias Bourgue, who had never even contested a match on the ATP Tour before making his Grand Slam debut in Paris, was remarkable and uplifting. Yet Andy Murray knows he is currently a poor imitation of the man who won the Rome Masters just 10 days ago.

"At one stage, Bourgue won 16 points in a row in his run of eight consecutive games. Murray was flat, missing regularly and perplexed at his poor ball striking, but able again to work his way into a position in which he could make his experience and physical superiority tell.

"His fighting spirit burns as brightly as ever, but the seven and a quarter hours he has already spent on court could well take its toll. Murray says he is hitting the ball well in practice, but not yet for long enough periods on the match court to justify his pre-tournament billing."


  • Murray's five-set win was his 10th out of his last 11 five-set matches. His only five-set defeat in that time came against Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2015
  • The lowest ranked player Murray has lost to in a Grand Slam is Arnaud Clement, who was ranked 91 at the 2005 US Open
  • The second seed has not lost before the third round at Roland Garros since Andy Roddick fell to Jose Acasuso at this stage in 2005

Wawrinka and Nishikori progress

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka, the third-seeded Swiss, went through with a 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-4 win over Japan's Taro Daniel.

Wawrinka, 31, found himself in trouble in the first set when he had to save two set points.

He dominated the second set but was a break down in the third before finishing with a flourish to secure a third-round meeting with French 30th seed Jeremy Chardy.

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan coasted into the third round with a 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.

Karlovic matches Connors

Ivo Karlovic
Karlovic's match lasted four hours and 31 minutes - the longest of the tournament to date

Ivo Karlovic, 37, beat Australia's Jordan Thompson 12-10 in the final set to become the oldest man to make the third round since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

The 27th seed from Croatia fired 41 aces and 102 winners in a marathon match.

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC