Monte Carlo Masters
A MURRAY (GB) bt F Volandri (Ita)
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Murray 6-4 6-1 Volandri
There's still life in Volandri yet, as a smart volley which sets up two break-points shows. He sets up three more breaking opportunities before Murray finally comes up with some big serving to close out the match. Good win for Murray in the end, although he will need to step up a notch or two against third seed and friend Novak Djokovic on Thursday.
Murray 6-4 5-1 Volandri
After applauding him for his resilience earlier, I have to say Volandri has been inept in this second set, particularly on the backhand. And after Murray brilliantly scampers around, the Italian's forehand goes missing, a smash embarrassingly thudding into the net to hand Murray three more break-points. The first is taken and Murray is on the brink of securing a meeting with Djokovic.
Murray 6-4 4-1 Volandri
The words Jekyll and Hyde spring to mind. Murray serves up several more unforced errors to present Volandri a break-point only for the world number 42 to return in kind with some woeful efforts off the backhand.
Murray 6-4 3-1 Volandri
Rafael Nadal is an interested spectator. Or is he? He looks bored. He shouldn't be - Murray shows how to craft out a winning point with some patient play from the back of the court before he moves in to put away a volley. He finally realises what has looked obvious all along - if he stays in the point long enough Volandri will blunder. The Italian is broken to love and this shouldn't last much longer... should it?
Murray 6-4 2-1 Volandri
Murray continues to be maddeningly erratic. His radar is off for the first two points but then comes a classy backhand under pressure, only for him to float a drop-shot into the net. Break-point for Volandri but the 14th seed does enough to win the game.
Murray 6-4 1-1 Volandri
Anaemic serving and all-round play from Volandri gifts Murray two break-points. He saves the first with a near-miraculous drop-shot after a breathless rally and a pummelling backhand rescues the second. Murray is long and wide with a couple of shots to reprieve his beleaguered opponent.
Murray 6-4 1-0 Volandri
It's quite clear Volandri has no real attacking strategy here and just chipping the ball back hands Murray enough opportunities to ease through the opening game.
Murray 6-4 Volandri
This is Groundhog Day stuff. Murray mixes blistering winners with rushed errors again. However, a brilliant forehand pass and two mistakes from Volandri secure the set for Murray. Inconsistent he may have been but the British number one will be reasonably content.
Murray 5-4 Volandri
Terrific volleying from Murray has Volandri stumbling around desperately. He clearly has more weapons in his armoury but wily old Volandri is an object lesson for the young Scot in how to bide your time in points.
"Murray is infuriating when it comes to wasting break points....Still all is looking decent so far from Andy."
TABCCS on 606
Murray 4-4 Volandri
Murray mutters away, clearly unhappy with that last game. Both players are making more mistakes now and Corretja looks far from impressed. But Murray raises the bar with a fantastic backhand drop-shot to force another break-point, only to go long. Volandri hangs in there to see out the game but it's untidy stuff.
Murray 4-3 Volandri
Volandri hits back immediately with a tremendous backhand volley and cross-court forehand which forces a Murray error to give the Italian break-point. Murray nets his forehand and we're back on serve.
Murray 4-2 Volandri
Murray piles on the pressure with some fierce forehands and Volandri cracks, yielding three break-points and firing wide with a backhand on the first.
Murray 3-2 Volandri
No real drama so far but Murray does look a tad impatient at times, trying to finish points in a hurry - precisely what his clay-court guru Alex Corretja is trying to iron out.
Murray 2-2 Volandri
Quality play as Murray produces a clever lob only for Volandri to somehow come up with a backhand volley on the stretch. He won't be a pushover.
"Paresh Soni = I snap horse. Fascinating, huh? Prediction, Paresh? Murray in straight sets for me."
James Manning on 606
Not much to say on your first observation James but Murray's looking good so far. I agree with your prediction.
Murray 2-1 Volandri
Murray's again in control at the net and from the back of the court as he holds with no bother. Early days though.
Murray 1-1 Volandri
Murray clearly doesn't fancy the idea of long rallies here and unleashes some real aggression in his groundstrokes. A mistake from Volandri hands him a break-point but the Italian responds with a booming forehand of his own to save it.
Murray 1-0 Volandri
Good start for Murray. The first serve functions well and there are several deft volleys and drop-shots to secure the first game.
1440: The winner takes on third seed Novak Djokovic, who had few problems seeing off Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-3 in the previous match on court.
1433: Murray lost to Volandri in Rome two years ago and had an even more painful encounter with him at the Hamburg Masters last year. Leading 5-1 in the first set, he hurt his right wrist and was forced to miss the French Open and Wimbledon. He insists there are no scars left over from that day.
1429: Volandri's been around for more than a decade and has stacks of experience on clay. To be frank, it's the only surface he's happy on and had any success on, winning two ATP tour titles in St Poelten (2004) and Palermo (2006). His Andy Warhol moment came at the Rome Masters last year when he beat a chap called Roger Federer in straight sets in the last 16 and then, quite rightly, went on a lap of honour, doing high-fives with spectators.
1423: Hello and welcome to Andy Murray goes to Monte Carlo Part II. It was a fairly straightforward win for the British number one over Feliciano Lopez on Monday. This time he's up against 26-year-old Italian Filippo Volandri, who's ranked 42 in the world.