The world number two got off to a quick start with an early break of serve, but it was donated right back to Herbert who managed to get the match back on serve. Murray would take back command of proceedings with two more breaks to seal the opener 6-2.
The second set was error filled from Murray and more reminiscent of his level on clay before 2015. Murray lost his serve in the first game of the set, broke back, and then lost serve again as the Frenchman started growing into the match. Herbert would eventually seal the set 6-3 to take the match to a decider.
From there, Murray was able to up his level and break for 3-1 before eventually seeing out the match 6-3 in the final set. It was not the greatest performance but he managed to squeeze out a three sets victory to start the clay court season.
“He likes to serve and volley but he didn’t make many first serves in the first set,” said Murray via the Daily Mail.
“He has played three matches already so it was a good one to get through. It was a tough match and I just managed to turn it round in the end.
There were some tight moments in the third set and he had some chances. Hopefully I can improve as the clay court season goes on.”
The Brit will face either Benoit Paire or Joao Sousa in the third round. Paire also struggled in his opening round match and needed a third set tiebreak to defeat Inigo Cervantes 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6). Sousa had an easier time with Ivo Karlovic with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win at the start of the day. Paire vs Sousa will take place on Wednesday.
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