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Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 17:47 UK

Murray survives French Open test

French Open: Sunday 25 May to Sunday 8 June
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Highlights: Murray v Eysseric

Andy Murray came through a topsy-turvy encounter against French wildcard Jonathan Eysseric 6-2 1-6 4-6 6-0 6-2 to reach the French Open second round.

The British 10th seed has been struggling on clay all season and appeared to be heading for a major upset at two sets to one down.

But Murray won all six games in the fourth set to level and made the decisive break in the final set.

Murray will face Argentine Jose Acasuso in the second round.

Acasuso, a clay-court specialist, could pose an even tougher test for Murray, whose win over Eysseric was his first at Roland Garros following his first-round defeat in 2006 and his withdrawal through injury last year.

I never felt I was going to lose the match

Andy Murray

"I didn't play particularly well and he made me do a lot of running which wasn't the plan," said the Briton.

"Playing a young guy you've not seen takes a little bit of time to get used to.

"But I never felt I was going to lose the match. I was happy I came through it."

Murray revealed he had been on antibiotics since Tuesday for a throat infection which forced him to cut back his training.

"I was told to do half of what I would normally do," Murray said.

"I had to make sure I wasn't tiring myself out too much and getting a lot of sleep. I feel a bit better today but this has been the first day I have been feeling good.

"I'll take tomorrow easy and work hard in the gym on Tuesday."

Even with a throat infection, Murray would have been expected to make short work of Eysseric, who at 17 was the youngest player in the men's draw.

The prospects looked bright when Murray eased into a 3-1 lead on an overcast Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Eysseric's errors proved costly as the Scot broke him for a third time at 4-2 and then comfortably served out the set.

But the French world number 387 soon turned the tables, galloping to a 3-0 lead in the second before breaking a despondent Murray for a second time to level the match at one-set all.

606: DEBATE
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Cheered on by a partisan crowd at Roland Garros, the 17-year-old took a 2-0 lead in the third and gathered a second break at 5-2 as the Murray mis-hits continued.

The world number 11 rescued one break and with the match delicately poised, both players took time out to gather their composure with Eysseric receiving treatment for cramp.

His physical problems were not serious enough to prevent Eysseric serving out the set but he tired dramatically once Murray raced into a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

The Briton rattled off a 6-0 whitewash to send the see-saw match into a decider.

A straightforward final set seemed unlikely and the pair again swapped breaks in the opening games.

Murray broke twice more for a 5-1 lead, but Eysseric refused to give in and broke back at 5-2, before the British number one returned the favour to close out the match.


see also
Davenport is out of French Open
20 May 08 |  Tennis
Murray will make it, says Ancic
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Murray turns up the heat
22 May 08 |  Tennis


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