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Murray’s relief as he nets Baghdatis clash


Andy Murray is set to play Marcos Baghdatis in the third round of the French Open

Andy Murray is set to play Marcos Baghdatis in the third round of the French Open

Andy Murray is set to play Marcos Baghdatis in the third round of the French Open

Andy Murray last night admitted he feared his French Open second-round match would go into a third day after finally polishing off Juan Ignacio Chela in the Roland Garros gloom.

A succession of delays on a rain-blighted day five of the tournament threatened to derail the world number four's bid to wrap up what was a sixth straight victory over Chela.

But he survived the loss of the second set and two rain breaks to win 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 6-2 on Court One at 8.56pm local time and set up a third-round clash with Marcos Baghdatis.

“It got dark quickly today and at the end of the match I was lucky I managed to get another break,” said Murray.

“Because I think, at max, we would have had two games left.”

World number four Murray returned to court yesterday afternoon at 3-3 in the second set after the contest was suspended in fading light at around 9.30pm on Wednesday night following the first wet day of this year's tournament.

Murray initially struggled after the resumption, losing the second set and going a break down in the third before reeling off six games in a row to take a stranglehold on proceedings.

Revealing the difficulty of playing a match over two days, the 23-year-old added: “That was what was quite tough yesterday because you know you need to stay focused the whole time, but you know when you go on there's no chance of you finishing the match.

“Once you get ahead, it's maybe a little bit normal to press a little bit and rush a little bit.

“Today, when you're coming off the court and going on, sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for a little bit longer, it's tough to get into a rhythm.

“Staying on court for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, I started to feel a lot better.”

Murray felt he would be better for the experience that saw his match on Court One played in four parts.

“It is a difficult thing to do, hard to explain until you've been through it,” he said.

“Rain delays, I've not really had many in my career. It was a good experience for me, one that I could have dealt with maybe a little bit better.”

The Scot will play 25th seed Baghdatis in the fourth match on Suzanne Lenglen Court today.

Baghdatis saw his second-round clash suspended on Wednesday night after bad weather meant he did not get on court until early evening yesterday.

And like Murray, the Cypriot was forced to wait before getting on court yesterday, the 24-year-old converting a two sets to one lead into a 4-6 6-1 7-5 6-2 victory over Marcel Granollers on Court Three.

Baghdatis said: “It's nice to play against opponents that it will be a great fight. Andy is a great player. Not only a great player, but a great fighter on court.

“He can last, so I'm looking forward to playing a great match with him.”

Belfast Telegraph