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Murray v Monaco as it happened

Rome Masters

Second-round result:


1-6 6-3 7-5


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By Chris Bevan

1503: That's all from me folks, and from Murray too - for now at least. His season on clay has been a mixed bag so far but he is still learning on that surface and at least he has a month or so to try to get things right for the French Open.

1458: After the first set, it seemed Andy Murray was going to ease through to the third round in Rome - but Juan Monaco had other ideas. It turned into a bit of a scrappy affair but the end result is a defeat that means the British number one has lost his first match at any tournament for the first time since the Beijing Olympics.

"Credit to Monaco. Certainly did enough on the day to beat Murray who must be a tad upset with his overall performance."
nowthennathan on 606 Join the debate on 606


It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 5-7 Monaco
So Murray has to raise himself, and attempt to break back again to save this match. Can he do it? Not this time. The Scot sees what should have been a routine backhand winner drift wide and is then caught out by a delicate Monaco drop shot. That gives the Argentine two match points and, although Murray saves one, Monaco is in at the net on the next point to wrap up a fine victory.

It's bad news for a Briton
Someone is having a tantrum

Murray 5-6 Monaco
Hmmm, a double-fault on the first point by Murray is not what the doctor ordered - and neither is a horrific forehand on the next point that almost loops into the stands. The Scot tries to play it safe on the next point and Monaco punishes him by pounding a forehand winner into the corner. That gives the Argentine three break-points and another Murray error means he only needs one - Monaco will serve for the match next. A disastrous game for the British number one.

Murray 5-5 Monaco
Credit to Monaco, he is not done yet. I thought he might crumble - instead he holds to love, taking the game with a punched backhand passing shot when Murray was in at the net and sensing the kill himself.

Murray 5-4 Monaco
This is much better from Murray, who has regained his composure - and rediscovered his serve. It is Monaco who is seeing his groundstrokes drop long now and when he does get them in, they are horribly short. Murray comes in to pound away a forehand winner to hold and he is just one game away from a place in the third round.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 4-4 Monaco
So can he do it? Yes he can. Murray gets off to a good start, cleverly forcing two errors from Monaco and at 0-30 this is a real chance. The Argentine puts his next forehand into the net before a stunning Murray return sees him break to love. That's the response we wanted. Game on!

"Scotland's No.1 is just making things interesting for himself."
AJ fae Fife on 606 Join the debate on 606

Murray 3-4 Monaco
Monaco is certainly not afraid of getting dirty - he dives in vain to reach a Murray backhand down the line and suddenly that lime-green shirt of his is looking desperately in need of a wash. A double-fault does not help the Scot's cause but a big serve out wide at 40-30 sees him hold. Now he just needs a break of his own...

Murray 2-4 Monaco
Erm, this doesn't look good for Murray does it? He has a sniff of another break back at 30-all but an inspired drop shot by Monaco, and a big serve from the Argentine sees him out of trouble.

"Murray is driving me crazy, back to his old pat ball, squash-shot defence. He doesn't seem to be able to put two aggressive points back to back. Monaco has been awful too."
Invisiblecities on 606 Join the debate on 606

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 2-3 Monaco
One step forward, two back for Murray. Monaco takes a nasty tumble as he tried to reach a volley but it is the Scot who is feeling all the pain here. He is being much too careless with his shots from the back of the court and, when two forehands fly out, it is another break for the Argentine. Far too sloppy from the British number one, who is making life very difficult for himself.

By the way, the winner of this match will play Marin Cilic in round three after the Croatian beat Christophe Rochus 6-0 5-7 6-2.

"When Murray gets knocked out please try to avoid the headline "Murray crashes out" on the BBC Homepage. Many thanks."
MixingBowl on 606
Join the debate on 606 I'll see what I can do...

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 2-2 Monaco
Murray may not be firing on all cylinders but he is fighting hard, that's for sure. The Scot is still patient when he has to be but is also coming forward a lot more when he gets a chance and Monaco cannot find a way past him at the net - the end result is that Murray breaks back, immediately. Nice.

"What is it with Murray? Against the weaker players he always seems to lose the second set after he's walked the first. This lack of concentration is the only weakness he has in his game right now. When up against the top guys he never seems to do this."
cowboymartin on 606
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It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 1-2 Monaco
Big trouble for Murray - I'm not sure what has happened to his serve, but it goes to pot here, leaving him at 15-40 and muttering about his "loose" strings once again. He seems to have little choice but to go on the offensive and targets the Monaco backhand to claw his way back to deuce. That is only a temporary respite, however, and two big forehands give the Argentine a break. Arrgh.

News from Court One - and it's a result. France's Richard Gasquet has overcome his compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

Murray 1-1 Monaco
Well, Monaco holds serve but both players are still mixing some superb winners with some stupid errors - this match has got very scrappy, which is not what Murray needs.

Croatia's Marin Cilic is a break and 3-2 up in the deciding set of his match with Christophe Rochus. The winner of that one meets the winner of this one, if you follow.

Murray 1-0 Monaco
Time for Murray to raise his game after that disappointing set - but he is still struggling for rhythm and is having to come into the net far more now to try to see Monaco off. Even then, nothing is guaranteed - the Argentine does brilliantly to retrieve a Murray smash and it takes a brilliant volley on the run for the Scot to take that point. The Scot is still moaning to himself about his game, and seemingly about the strings on his racquet, but from deuce he steadies himself to hold at the start of the deciding set.

Elsewhere, bad news for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is in a spot of bother against Richard Gasquet - a set down and now a break down at 2-4 in the second set.

"One of the worst sets of Murray's career"
MurraycarriesGB on 606
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It wasn't great, was it!?


It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 3-6 Monaco
Ouch. Monaco's serving has been unconvincing to say the least so far but he makes no mistake here, with a big kick on his first serve at 30-0 deceiving Murray and bringing the Argentine three set-points. The first one gets away from him but Murray can only put his next backhand into the net - we are all-square at one-set all.

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 3-5 Monaco
Murray's serve has lost its zing but he has got plenty of other shots in his locker and is starting to use that old favourite of his, the drop shot, more and more. He needs it too - Monaco has got his tail up at the moment. The Argentine sees two break-points come and go but soon has another when Murray sees a forehand fly long and, a double-fault means Monaco will serve for the second set next.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 3-4 Monaco
Right then - the last time Murray was broken, he broke straight back. Can he do the same again? Well, more mistakes by Monaco certainly help, with one wild forehand landing a mile out. That gives the Scot a break point at 30-40 and Murray does not need asking twice...yep, you guessed it - we are back on serve.

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 2-4 Monaco
Hmmm, Murray is struggling a tad here - the sun is shining right in his eyes on serve and is causing him a few problems, especially with his first delivery. Monaco finds himself with two break-points and, although a trademark Murray backhand down the line sees him save the first one, a wild shot at 30-40 sees Monaco break again. Oh dear.

A bit of news for you from around the courts - Richard Gasquet took the first set of his second-round match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2). It's with serve in the second set with Tsonga 1-0 up. Oh and Marin Cilic took the first set 6-0 in his clash with Christophe Rochus but the Belgian won the second 7-5 - the winner of that one plays Murray or Monaco next.

1328: A chance to take a bit of a breather - Monaco has some dust in his eye and needs the doctor to sort that out between games.

Murray 2-3 Monaco
A bit of a mixed bag for both players here. Monaco is making errors again, giving Murray a sniff of another break at 0-30 but the British number one then finds the net in three straight points when he has opportunities to do far better. That takes us to 40-30, and another backhand into the net by Murray means the Argentine has his nose in front again in this second set.

Murray 2-2 Monaco
A bit of drama on the Murray serve as the net-cord machine springs into life - when the ball is nowhere near it. That's technology for you...I remember when they used to have a person doing that job. That blip - or beep - does not stop Murray holding with ease, however.

Oh and apologies for referring to Alex Corretja as Murray's new coach earlier - I meant advisor. The Spaniard only joins Team Murray to help the Scot during the clay season...
"Well done Murray. Keep going!."
valorousall4him on 606
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"With play being suspended yesterday. does that mean if Murray progresses he will have to play two matches in one day again?"
Stuart, in Birmingham, via text on 81111

As things stand, whoever wins this will be able to go sightseeing for the rest of Wednesday - if he chooses to! That should stay the same for later rounds too, unless we get more rain.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 1-2 Monaco

Some poor serving by Monaco hands Murray a chance to break back immediately at 15-40 but, as in the opening game of this set, he sees two break points slip away thanks to some wasteful returns. The Scot isn't finished yet, however, and he takes the game to Monaco - forcing two errors out of the Argentine, who looks a little taken aback. We are back on serve in this second set - and that's much better from Andy.

It's bad news for a Briton
Someone is having a tantrum

Murray 0-2 Monaco
Maybe that change of shirt has worked after all - Monaco has settled down a bit more of those foolhardy charges to the net that we saw in the first set - and he has reverted to staying at the back of the court. His new tactics are paying off too and, although Murray saves three break-points, Monaco puts away his fourth chance to break and give the British number one something to think about at the start of the second set. Murray's immediate response is to slam his racquet down in frustration - he's still got a bit of work to do here.

"Hello, can you give updates on whats happening in the other matches especially the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga-RichardGasquet match?"
Victoria, in Glasgow, via text on 81111

That all-French affair is on serve in the first set with Gasquet 6-5 up.

Murray 0-1 Monaco
A change of shirt from Monaco - he's now wearing a lime-green number rather than all-white as before - but no change of form. Murray is still getting everything back, including one superb retrieval that draws gasps from the crowd, and the Argentine is still making a rash of errors. This time, Monaco composes himself and manages to hold but it took a herculean effort and the Scot remains in overall control of the match.

"(Re 1211) Murray could face disappointment, the Djoker was quality yesterday and may even rise to see off Nadal to retain his third seed status. Come on Muzza!"
Marky via text on 81111


It's good news for a Briton

Murray 6-1 Monaco
Murray is in no mood to let anything else slip, however, and he is even opening up with his backhand as he looks to finish Monaco off. The Scot is serving superbly and he holds to wrap up the first set in just 33 minutes. Impressive stuff.

Murray 5-1 Monaco
Unsurprisingly, Monaco is looking more than a tad dejected. He's tried to out-rally Murray from the baseline and had no joy there, and had even less success at the net. He needs to find something on his serve here to avoid the dreaded bagel in the first set and looks very grateful as a couple of rare mistakes from Murray help his cause. The Argentine holds, and he is off the mark at long last.

Murray 5-0 Monaco
It gets better for Murray, who fires down a huge ace as he holds to love. Monaco has won just 10 points in the first five games - it is not looking good for the Argentine.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 4-0 Monaco
Phew. This is impressive stuff from Murray - it's early days in this one of course but credit to his new coach Alex Corretja, the British number one is looking very comfortable on clay...far more so than Monaco, who is supposedly a specialist on this surface. The Scot is not just waiting for his opponent to make mistakes, either, with one superb forehand winner helping him break again.

The winner of this one plays either Christophe Rochus of Belgium or Croatia's Marin Cilic, the 15th seed, in the third round. Oh, and Murray is in the same half of the draw as Nadal so, if the Scot does make progress, then he will probably have to face the Spaniard in the semi-finals.

Murray 3-0 Monaco
That early break is a huge boost for Murray but this is by no means a one-sided match and Monaco is also playing some cracking shots. He's also making more mistakes too though - he seems to be the player trying to end points early at the moment and it is not working. Murray, steady and patient as ever, holds to extend his lead.

"Woah, bit of confusion right there! I thought you were saying that Murray was taking on the whole of Monaco. I think that would be beyond even his reach."
Anon via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 2-0 Monaco
Hmmm, slightly sloppy stuff from Monaco on his own serve and I'm surprised that he is trying to get into the net. If it is meant to unsettle Murray, it is not working, and the Brit produces a cracking passing shot to move 15-40 up. Both those break points come and go, however, as Monaco digs in but Murray is having the better of the lengthy rallies too and soon forces a third break point. The Argentine saves himself again - this time with a dinked drop shot - but ruins his hard work with two wild shots and, after a bit of a marathon, Murray is a break up. Good work!

Murray 1-0 Monaco
If this first game is anything to go by, Murray is going to have to work hard today. Monaco, as expected, is very comfortable at the back of the court and the Scot's attempts to put him under pressure bring some very mixed results. He has more joy when he brings the Argentine into the net at deuce, however, with a limp volley landing at the bottom of the net, and another mistake on the next point means Murray holds out.

1213: These two have met only once before - with Murray coming through after a bit of a scrap in Miami in March.

1211: Just before we get going - it's worth pointing out that if Novak Djokovic does not defend his title here, Murray will move above him to become the world number three by the middle of May. The Djoker has got off to a good start, though, as he beat Albert Montanes 7-6 (7-5) 6-0 last night to become the first man into the third round.

1209: In case you were wondering, this won't be easy for Murray. Monaco is only ranked 58th in the world but that's mainly because he was ill or injured for most of 2008 - he was as high as number 14 in February of that year and is very much a clay-court expert with three ATP titles on this surface.

1206: The players are on court at the Stad Pietrangeli and warming up. It looks very hot out there.

1204: The world number four was meant to play Monaco (the player, not the principality) on Tuesday afternoon but the wet weather decided otherwise. Oh, and by(e) the way, Murray got a bye to the second round because he is seeded fourth. Monaco had to come through qualifying and then beat Germany's Nicolas Kiefer 6-2 6-3 in round one.

The sun is out

1200: Afternoon all - I bring good news. At long last, the rain has stopped and that means Britain's Andy Murray will be on court for his second-round Rome Masters match against Argentina's Juan Monaco in the next few minutes. Hopefully.

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see also
Murray suffers shock Rome defeat
29 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray thwarted by rain in Rome
28 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray to take on Monaco in Rome
27 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Nadal seals fifth Monte Carlo win
19 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray battles through in Miami
28 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Djokovic defeats Wawrinka in Rome
11 May 08 |  Tennis
Nadal falls to shock loss on clay
07 May 08 |  Tennis

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