French Open

Murray through to Round 2

2015-05-25 20:48
Andy Murray (AFP)

Paris - Andy Murray has had to get to grips with tricky conditions as he advanced to the second round of the French Open on Monday, beating Argentina's Facundo Arguello in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The Scottish world number three continued his impeccable recent form on clay by overcoming Arguello, a lucky loser from the qualifying competition, to make it 11 wins in a row on clay.

However, he admitted surprise at just how slow conditions were on a windy centre court.

"The first set I didn't feel like it was great. I felt like it was difficult. The start was very windy on the court and cold, so it was quite slow," he said.

"Then I felt when the wind died down a bit in the second and third set, I felt that the level of tennis was better. It was more entertaining rallies and, you know, we played some good points.

"That court in particular, Philippe Chatrier, is very slow, extremely slow. I have never felt it like that before.

"When I practiced on the outside courts and the sun is out, it's pretty quick, high bouncing.

"Suzanne Lenglen is a little bit slower than the outside courts, but still, it's not that slow. But centre court (is) very low bouncing, which is strange."

A beaten semi-finalist in Paris last year, Murray advances to a second-round encounter with either Canadian world number 53 Vasek Pospisil or Portugal's 44th-ranked Joao Sousa and was happy with the test provided by Arguello, and to get the job done in three sets.

"The number one goal is to get through. That's the most important thing. But, you know, if you can play well too, that builds confidence for later in the event," he added.

"And if you aren't playing well in the early rounds, often you have to spend a lot more time on the court, because everyone you play in these events are very tough opponents.

"If you get dragged into five-set matches or long four-set matches because you're not playing that well, that can have consequences. You can get tired later in the tournament if that happens."

Murray has not lost in the first round at Roland Garros since his debut appearance back in 2006 and there was never any real danger of an upset against the 22-year-old Arguello.

The Argentine was attacking in his approach and Murray struggled just to hold his serve in the opening game of the match.

Murray was broken once, in game five of the opening set, but broke twice himself to take the set 6-3.

Arguello, who lost in five sets to Radek Stepanek in his only previous Grand Slam appearance in Paris a year ago, was a worthy opponent for Murray into the second set and there were some fine exchanges between the pair.

The crowd were mesmerised by one in particular in the second game of the second set, when a Murray drop shot seemed to have Arguello beaten.

But the Argentine got there and then chased down what looked like a certain Murray winner to the back of the court, only for the Scot to finally claim the point at the third time of asking.

Murray was given the runaround at times but broke in the fifth game and went on to take the second set 6-3, before running away with the third set for the loss of only one game in just 25 minutes.

"He was better than me in every department. It's difficult to do damage to Murray. There is a reason why he is third in the world," said Arguello.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  french open  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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