Roland Garros 2017: Murray wins ugly, faces Del Potro in round R3 | Preview


By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • Andy Murray [1] def. Martin Klizan 6-7(3) 6-2 602 7-6(3)
  • R3: Juan Martin Del Potro [29]
  • Head to Head: Murray leads 6-3
PARIS, FRANCE – Andy Murray made things hard for himself and earns a round three match up with Juan Martin Del Potro who had plenty of drama of his own.


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Who is Murray playing? Juan Martin Del Potro [29]
Head to Head? Murray leads 6-3
What time is Murray playing & where? Murray & Del Potro are scheduled second on Court Chatrier, not before 12:30pm (11:30am) 
Where/How to watch Murray’s match? ITV4, Eurosport, Eurosport Player | Tennis on UK TV


Andy Murray [1] def. Martin Klizan 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3)

For many there was revived hope that the manner of top seed Andy Murray’s win in the opening round signified a change in his fortunes in this trouble spring/summer spell. Yet we were in for another rollercoaster – even given he was playing someone who had gone through a fatiguing first round, in Martin Klizan.

Klizan broke the World No. 1 early and it looked that he would keep that advantage – but failing to serve out the first set gave Murray a chink of hope as he forced a tie-break. But the passivity, moaning about his lack of movement and getting distracted by the overhead camera saw him telling the umpire he would sit down and refuse to play.

Klizan took full advantage of the grumbling Brit to pick off the first set, with Murray taking himself a little further back in the court and starting to change his tactics hustling Klizan more and breaking him twice to set the pace in the second set.

That momentum stayed with him for the start of the third set, and you know when in France, it looked like a fait accompli as he roared past the tired looking Klizan to take a 2-1 lead. But it is fair to say that throughout the match, Murray still did not look quite a convinced about his chances. He was broken at the start of the match to see Klizan surge forwards for a 4-1 lead before he started to stop the rot.

Inching his way back on the game, Murray broke to level at 5-5 before forcing another tie-break and this time the tide was with him. Jumping out to a 3-0 lead, there was little that Klizan to stay with the Brit, as Murray closed it out on his second set point.

Murray admitted that his serving went awry towards the end, but that he felt overall he had done well.

He told reporters: “I just didn’t serve very well the first set, really. I didn’t serve well at all. But served pretty well for decent parts of the match, but at the end didn’t serve well. He’s not easy to play against, because he can generate power from, you know, very defensive positions. So you always have to be alert.

“My plan was to go into the match and try and play a solid match, which maybe first set I didn’t, but I felt for the most part, second, third, fourth I played some good stuff.

Despite the fact he was still carrying a slight cough in his on-court interview, he asserted that he felt fine.

“Physically I felt good. So that was very positive thing for me with a lot of the issues I have had this year to come through a match like that in that heat and feel good.”

It was the epitome of winning ugly, but it was enough to get the job done and set up a match against Juan Martin Del Potro, who looked the most crocked of the pair in his match with Nicolas Almagro before the Spaniard’s already injured knee gave out.

Murray continued: “I definitely feel like I’m capable of winning that match. I mean, I’m playing way better than I was two weeks ago, and today’s match will have done me a lot of good, because physically I pulled up well and felt good, so I will gain a lot of confidence from that.

“It seems like everyone thinks I didn’t play particularly well today, but there was some good stuff against a tough opponent. It’s not easy to play against someone like him. So, yeah, hopefully I will keep improving in the next one.”

Earlier in the match it looked like it would be Del Potro retiring after leaving the court for his upper thigh but Almagro, who injured his knee badly against Rafael Nadal in Rome found himself keeling over in agony as it broke down once more.

In an amazing show of sportsmanship Del Potro, obviously no stranger to career threatening injuries and the swell of emotions, was on hand to try and comfort Almagro as bet he could.

Almagro’s retirement at the start of the third set leaves Del Potro far more rested than Murray at this stage. Del Potro – back at Roland Garros for the first time since 2012 with illness keeping out of the 2013 tournament, and of course his wrist injuries affecting the subsequent seasons, and he knows it will be a tough physical battle coming up.

He said: “We play great battles last year, one each. After tomorrow could be another great battle if I feel good. Andy is one of the favourites to win this tournament. And now I know his game a lot, but I need to be in good shape and physically be stronger to hold a long match if we play a long match, long rallies.

“I’m happy with my level at this moment, so my forehands and serves are working good. But anyways, I need all my body in good shape.”

The Tower of Tandil is an offensive baseliner with a hefty serve and very deep, flat/topspin groundstrokes and the serve and forehand one-two is possibly one of the most powerful in the game. His backhand side is pretty consistent too and he can also switch to a deft-touch slice backhand.

Murray will have to get on top of his issues with his movement to take time away from Del Potro and pull him around the court, but we can expect this ti be a bruiser if both are feeling fit.

Prediction: Murray in four sets.