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Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 19:09 UK

French Open day four as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

1901: But that's all from me today, I'm afraid. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It's not over, of course - and you can keep up with the latest scores on this website. Piers Newbery will be back with you tomorrow, when Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are back in action, and I'm sure he will look forward to you joining him then. Goodnight.

1858: Some updates from around the courts now - Marat Safin and Josselin Ouanna are locked at 3-3 in the deciding set of their match, and Nikolay Davydenko is 3-1 ahead in the second set against Diego Junqueira. Oh, and Lleyton Hewitt is two sets up and 3-0 up on Andrey Golubey.

1852: A very unenthusiastic looking Venus Williams comes out on to a deserted Court Suzanne Lenglen - she doesn't look happy at being asked to start her match against Lucie Safarova at this time of night, when it is highly unlikely she will be able to finish.

1843: It's in the bag for Rafael Nadal, who completes a 6-1 6-4 6-2 win over Teimuraz Gabashvili which not only puts him into the third round, but is also his 30th in a row at Roland Garros - a new record in the men's and women's game. Can anybody stop him?

1840: From Nublettt on 606: "It's been playing on my mind all match, but I've finally figured out who Gabashvili looks's Mark Webber from Formula 1!!"
Join the debate on 606

1835: Ha, Marat Safin is probably the only man in Europe not chasing an early finish tonight - according to democracythreat on 606, the Russian has just blasted three aces in a row from 30-40 to hold and level his match with Josselin Ouanna at two-sets all - I can't see them making kick-off, if I'm honest...

1829: Lleyton Hewitt has got the upper hand in the battle to face Rafael Nadal next (what a prize that is, assuming the Spaniard does win of course!). The Australian former world number one is 6-4 4-2 up against Andrey Golubey of Kazakhstan. Oh, and on Court One, tenth seed Nikolay Davydenko is in a spot of bother after losing the first set 6-4 to Argentina's Diego Junqueira.

It's bad news for a Briton
1823: Blast. Ross Hutchins is out. He and his Australian partner Stephen Huss lost 6-4 6-2 to Fernando Gonzalez and Jose Acasuso in the first round of the men's doubles.

1818: Rafael Nadal should be fine for the football - although I'm told he's actually a fan of Real Madrid, which is strange as his uncle Miguel Angel Nadal played for Barca. Anyway, he's 3-0 and a double-break up in this third set and should be done and dusted within a few minutes. But while Teimuraz Gabashvili disintegrates, Marat Safin is on the comeback trail - the 20th seed was two sets down but took the third set 6-4 and is 3-1 up in the fourth.

It's raining
1815: Rain is falling at Roland Garros, albeit not very heavily. Rafael Nadal is a break up already at the start of the third set but he will have to get his skates on if he is going to tidy this one up before the heavens open and then find a bar showing Barcelona against Manchester United later tonight - he has 90 minutes until kick-off.

It's bad news for a Briton
1807: Not great news for Britain's top ranked doubles player, Ross Hutchins. He and his Australian partner Stephen Huss are seeded 11th but they are currently trailing 6-4 3-2 in their first round match against Fernando Gonzalez and Jose Acasuso over on Court Eight.

1803: Oh dear, things rather quickly went downhill for Teimuraz Gabashvili, almost as soon as BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend claimed on the Red Button that the Russian resembles former Manchester United goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw, not Ian Brown. A few sloppy shots crept into his game at 4-4 and, one break later, Rafael Nadal served out for the second set. A shame, as that set had been a real thriller and was in the balance until then.

From Juan in Seattle on 606: "Hey Chris, isn't it hard to be doing the tennis commentary when half the world is waiting for the Champions League Final? On the other hand, tennis is so important that Cheese just quoted Andy Murray on her live text.
I hope Roland Garros finishes up early tonight so you can catch the game. That way, you'll get the best of both!"
Join the debate on 606

Oh, is there a football match on tonight? I didn't know!? In case you've missed it, you can get all the latest chat from Rome with Caroline Cheese here but I know you'd rather stay in Paris with me - tennis rules, at least until I finish my shift...then I will be shouting for Barca!
Champions League final build-up

1752: More good work by Gabashvili, who deserves some reward for his determination, if nothing else. He saves six break points to hold and this second set is still going with serve at 4-3 to the Russian.

BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend on the Red Button: "Some games only last four points but that last one took 20 - terrific work from the underdog. Some players are already beaten before they start against Nadal but Gabashvili has a great attitude and the crowd are loving this."

Someone is having a tantrum
1744: Hmmm, a few of you are pointing out how grumpy Teimuraz Gabashvili is looking - and he does seem to be focusing most of his ire at his racquet. It's been mostly dirty looks so far but if I'm going to use this graphic for an imaginary Safin tantrum then I should even things out and stick one here too.

From CorazonLatino - now addicted to the song "El Nano" by Melendi...MAGIC ALONSO! on 606: "I'm waiting for Gabashvili to smash his racquet. Surely it's inevitable - he's been doing a lot of muttering and grumbling so far and I fully expect at some point he'll get so wound up, his racquet will be dead!"
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1736: The order of play is out for tomorrow folks...highlights? Roger Federer is second on Court Phillipe Chatrier against Argentina's Jose Acasuso and Novak Djokovic is last on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky. Also in action: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, although not in the same match...

1730: If, and you've got to say it's looking likely, Rafa gets through this one then he will face Andrey Golubey of Kazakhstan or Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in round three. Hewitt has reached the quarter-finals twice here but last reached that stage in 2004.

Someone is having a tantrum
1719: Things get worse for Marat Safin - another tie-break lost and he is now 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) down to Josselin Ouanna. I can't actually see any pictures of Court Phillipe Chatrier but surely he's taken some of his frustration on his racquet? Surely?

1716: I've managed to spell Teimuraz Gabashvili's name about 12 different ways already today so it's only fair I give him credit when it's due - he's made an excellent start to this second set, particularly with his serve, and is 2-1 up.

1710: BBC Sport's John Lloyd on the Red Button: "Trying to beat Rafael Nadal from the baseline on clay is just not going to work. But Teimuraz Gabashvili doesn't seem to be able to try anything else. Nobody seems to ever try anything radical to stop Nadal - maybe they have to."

1708: From bagelbaker on 606: "Rafa can get away with this level of play against Gabashvili and win in straight sets - but he will need to up his game against the other big guns."
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1702: Well, Teimuraz Gabashvili is trying his best but he may as well be facing a tornado on the other side of the net. A hot pink and lemon tornado, that is. Rafael Nadal is not even at his best but, so far, he is too powerful, too consistent and too darn good - and he has just taken the first set 6-1.

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1659: "Re 1622: Dear Ed TennisFan, as a five-time winner and defending champ what one wears is neither here nor there really! Oh, and its Mr Nadal..."
From Barbs on red button and txt in Hackney via text on 81111

1649: Teimuraz Gabashvili reminds me a bit of former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown - he's got a similar gait to him on court too, not that I've ever seen Mr Brown play tennis. Rafa is a break up in the first set now, leading 3-1 but is not having things all his own way.

1642: From Rafa fan on 606: "Teimuraz Gabashvili reminds me of Marat a less good-looking and successful way. When he is good he is awesome, but the good is mixed with some shocking mental collapses and numerous errors that come out of nowhere."
Join the debate on 606

Ah yes, I was meaning to bring you an update of how Safin is getting on in his second-round match with France's Josselin Ouanna - the Russian hunk (as Caroline Cheese describes him to me) lost the first set 7-6 (7-2) in a tie-break and is 3-2 up in the second set, which is going with serve.

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1636: "Re 1620: Actually Gaby won a match in the Roland Garros main draw a couple of days ago. Short memory."
wstfgl, via text on 81111

I've corrected that, er, deliberate mistake now, but for those of you auto refreshing it will remain on your screens forever. Sorry.

1628: Poor old Teimuraz Gabashvili. He spends the first three points sliding around at the back of the court and can barely keep his feet - not that it matters too much as he wins them all, yep ALL, and has three break points. Rafa sees red, or even pink, and refocuses - thanks to some wayward shots by the Russian he takes the next five points to hold. That was some start...

1533:BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend on the Red Button:"Teimuraz Gabashvili must be wondering how many more times he is going to be 40-0 up on the Nadal serve. Not too many, I'd expect."

1622: From EdTennisFan on 606: "Rafa's really not making an effort with his outfit is he? I mean, where are the neon green shorts?"
Join the debate on 606

1620: So who is Rafael Nadal, I hear you ask? Oh, sorry, I misheard. You actually want to know who Teimuraz Gabashvili is? He's a 24-year-old Russian ranked 72nd in the world and had never won a match in the main draw at Roland Garros until this week - how many games do you think he will win today?

1612: Question: Who wears hot pink and lemon and is unbeatable on clay.
Answer: He's just walked out on to Court Suzanne Lenglen - yep Rafael Nadal is about to start his second-round match with Teimuraz Gabashvili. The players are knocking up right now.

1608: From ARSHAVIN: man/monster/machine??? on 606: "Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova have both proved today that they are world-class players by progressing despite only recently coming back from injury."
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1602: It's all over - and, what a win for Maria Sharapova - who announces her comeback in style. She had to dig extremely deep but as BBC Sport's Sam Smith just said on the Red Button, the Russian would have rather left blood on the court than have lost to Nadia Petrova here - and 'Pova's sheer determination sees her win 6-2 1-6 8-6 in a real classic.

1555: While these two keep battling away - it is now 7-6 to Sharapova by the way, I can tell know where you can watch a replay of Andy Murray's win from earlier on today - it will be in full on the Red Button on satellite and cable from 1800 BST but not on Freeview.

1549: BBC Sport's Sam Smith on the Red Button:You have got to hand it to these Russian women, they are tough."

I think that's a compliment from Sam?

1540: This Sharapova-Petrova match is just getting better and better. 'Pova saves a succession of break points but still has to work to see off her compatriot before eventually holding at the end of an epic game to take a 5-4 lead.

BBC Sport's Sam Smith on the Red Button:
"This is a memory test for Sharapova to find this kind of tennis under this kind of pressure - because of her injuries she hasn't done this for 12 months."

1533: From Keizo-Yamata on 606: "Petrova needs to calm down - she can do this."
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1529: I told you it wasn't over...Maria Sharapova breaks back and is level at 4-4 in the decider.

1523: I tell you what, Maria Sharapova does not give up easily, does she? Facing certain disaster on serve at 30-40 at 2-4, she battles back to hold. Petrova only needs to serve out the rest of the set to finish this one off but don't write 'Pova off just yet...

1513: A quick update for you on the progress of Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova, who are trading blows at the start of the deciding set - both of them are slugging away too, with as many mistakes as winners but it is making a great match and Petrova has just broken to go 3-2 up.

1503: Women's number one seed Dinara Safina after her crushing 6-1 6-1 win over Vitalia Diatchenko which set up a third-round clash with another Russian, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:
"I played a good match today. She is very young and maybe she respects me too much.
"It should be a great match against Pavlyuchenkova. She's having a great season. I've never played against her or practised with her so I'm looking forward to meeting her."

1458: Next up on Court Suzanne Lenglen is Rafael Nadal, who is looking for another record on the red stuff in Paris - if he beats Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili, he will beat Chris Evert's record of 30 successive wins at Roland Garros, which she set between 1974 and 1981, although she didn't play from 1976 to 1978.

1455: Defending champion Ana Ivanovic is through to round three, where she will meet the 32nd seed Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

1450: Blimey, Nadia Petrova has just levelled her match with Maria Sharapova at one-set all. Ana Ivanovic is over her little blip and is serving for the match at 6-1 5-2 against Tammy Tanasugarn.

1442: Hmmm, things have changed quite a bit in the last 10 minutes on Court Phillipe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen - Tammy Tanasugarn has just broken back aginst Ana Ivanovic to level the second set at 2-2 and Nadia Petrova is 4-1 up in the second set of her match against Maria Sharapova.

1432: Andy Murray after his 6-3 2-6 7-5 6-4 second-round win over Potito Starace: "I got broken at the start of the second set and once I got broken he started to play a lot better. He managed to make me move a lot with his forehand but I still found a way to win. In five-set matches, the momentum always tends to shift."

1426: Ana Ivanovic is not hanging around either - she has just swept aside poor old Tammy Tanasugarn to take the first set 6-1, and has broken the veteran Thai star in the opening game of the second set for good measure too.

1422: The French Open is the only Grand Slam that Maria Sharapova has not won, incidentally, but she has one foot in the third round this year - she's just taken the first set 6-2 against Nadia Petrova, clenching her fist in quiet (for once!) celebration.

1419: Phew, it has taken a while but we finally know who Andy Murray will meet in the next round - Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic. 'Tipsy' came through a four-hour battle with Spain's Feliciano Lopez, the 28th seed, winning 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

1414: Rafa fan on 606: "It will be interesting to see how Maria Sharapova gets on with the crowd today, as I seem to remember them having a tiff last year when she was losing to Dinara Safina. They mocked her shrieks, 'Pova mocked their boos and Safina went on to win the match!"
Join the debate on 606

1408: Good news if you're a fan of Maria Sharapova or Ana Ivanovic. Both have just gone a break up in their matches with Shara's coming courtesy of a stunning winner and followed by a very big shriek. She leads 3-2, Ana is 3-1 ahead.

1402: Did you hear Richard Bacon's interview with Lleyton Hewitt yesterday by the way? No? It was very good, I assure you. And if your technology allows it, you can listen to it right here.

1352: Defending women's champion Ana Ivanovic has just started her second round match with Tamarin Tanasugarn of Thailand. Tammy is 32 now and has only been past the second round here once in 12 visits - I think she prefers grass to clay to be honest.

1343: A bit of a treat for you on the red button next - Maria Sharapova continues her comeback from her latest injury problems, and is up against fellow Russian and 11th seed Nadia Petrova - it seems a bit early for a match like this but you have to remember Maria is down at 102 in the world rankings right now.
Once this one is out of the way, Rafael Nadal is next up on Court Suzanne Lenglen, against Teimuraz Gabashvili.

1333: And that appears to be the end, finally, for Fabrice Santoro, who is 36 but seems like he has been around for about 50 years - or has been threatening to retire for that long anyway.
"I started my career some 20 years ago on Court 10 and I did not expect to finish it here with a mike in my hands, talking to you," said Santoro afterwards, before confirming he will be back for more next year. Only joking, he really will quit at the end of 2009.

1327: Some more results for you, and mixed news if you are French - seventh seed Gilles Simon is though to round three after thumping Bobby Kendrick 7-5 6-0 6-1 but sadly 'The Magician', aka Fabrice Santoro, is out after losing his first round match to Christophe Rochus of Belgium.

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1315: "All those Andy Murray doubters should be embarrassed now! Our hero is the real deal - never EVER count him out. A true champ. He won't win the title, but he's better than round two. At least the quarters methinks."
Phil at work, via text on 81111
It was a great win wasn't it? Apologies if the gremlins in my computer affected your enjoyment of it - it looks like they are here for the day too, so sorry about that.

1309: Fernando Verdasco, the eighth seed, is looking good to reach the third round - he leads Germany's Philipp Petzschner 6-1 6-2 1-0. Croatia's Marin Cilic, the 13th seed, is on his way there to, after moving 6-0 6-3 2-0 up against Israel's Dudi Sela.

1304: It looks like Andy will have to wait a while to find out who his next opponent will be - the Scot will face Serbia's Janko 'Tipsy' Tipsarevic or Spain's Feliciano Lopez, the 29th seed, but those two are going to be at it for a while yet - Lopez took the first set 7-6 (11-9) but Tipsy won the next 6-4 and it is currently with serve in the third set at 5-4 to the Spainard.

1302: So, Andy Murray is through to the third round but what else is going on around the courts at Roland Garros? I hear you ask...

Andy Murray
1300:BBC Sport's John Lloyd: Andy Murray lost his way in the second set and struggled with the depth of his shots. But he managed to work it out and that's the bottom line of why he got through. In these Grand Slam matches you are going to have ups and downs, you just need to get to the bottom of what is going wrong.

1257: Phew, that wasn't bad was it? Talk about a turnaround in the third set - Andy Murray looked done and dusted so to turn that around took some doing.

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 6-4 Starace
Talk about picking your moment! Murray produces a couple of stupendous returns to move to his first match point and, although Starace saves that, some more thumping groundstrokes soon set up another one for the Scot. Again Potito is in at the net to keep himself alive but, at the third time of asking, Murray hits a stunning crosscourt forehand to clinch a dramatic, and impressive, victory.

Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 5-4 * Starace
Another blink-and-you-miss-it service game from Murray. Apologies for blinking but I did see some of it and it was very impressive. The Scot did drop a point for the first time in ages but is now just one game away from a place in the third round. Over to you Mr Starace...

Murray * 6-3 2-6 7-5 4-4 Starace
A bit of a listless game here by Murray, just when it seemed he was ready to strike. A couple of sloppy shots leaves him 30-0 down and Starace goes on to hold easily enough. Shows how much I know - this fourth set is still anyone's.

Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 4-3 * Starace
Ah, if only the rest of the match was as easy as this for Murray. An eighth ace of the day helps him rack up his 10th point in a row on serve and he holds to love, again.

Murray * 6-3 2-6 7-5 3-3 Starace
Not so easy for Starace on serve this time and, to me, Murray seems on the cusp of another breakthrough. It doesn't happen here, though, as the Italian's serve is just about reliable enough to get him out of trouble and a couple of unforced errors by the Scot let him off the hook.

Mycroft on 606: "This is what separates the top players from the rest - the ability to demand victory of yourself, to not feel out of place with a lead (like Starace), and to seize the initiative at will. That is why Murray will be more of a threat to Nadal on clay than any of the so-called 'clay-specialists'. Well done Andy, see it out now."
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Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 3-2 * Starace
Ha, anything Potito can do, Murray can do better. Another love service game - both players seem to be recharging their batteries for a final push.

Murray * 6-3 2-6 7-5 2-2 Starace
Hmmm, Murray is not getting near the Starace serve at the moment - the Italian holds to love here - but, while he is holding so comfortably himself, it doesn't really matter.

Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 2-1 * Starace
Just what the doctor ordered for Murray, a clever game to quell this bit of resistance from Starace. At 30-30, then deuce, the Italian is digging in but the Scot has other ideas and sends him scurrying around the court in the next two points, waiting patiently for the right moment to put away the winner.
Oh and just a reminder for those of you I've confused - the asterisk always denotes the next server...

Murray * 6-3 2-6 7-5 1-1 Starace
Potito is not done yet though - he stops the rot with a decent service game to get off the mark. Maybe he's not as tired as I thought?

From Aaron95 on 606: "This is what makes Grand Slam tournaments so great. Over the course of a five set match, the tide can shift dramatically from one player to the other."
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Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 1-0 * Starace
Murray is still looking sharp as we start this fourth set - Starace looks fit to drop, if I'm honest. The Italian is still trying those drop shots but they are more out of desperation at the moment and Andy is reading them now. A couple of sloppy shots don't help the Scot's cause but he still holds easily enough and he has now won seven games in a row.

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"Just started watching this about 20 minutes ago. Dare not stop might affect Murray's rhythm."
From half-term teacher on south coast via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 7-5 Starace
That Starace forehand has disintegrated of late and it causes him more trouble here - at 30-all he plants one into the top of the net and, after all his problems, Murray has a set point. He doesn't waste it, either, beating the Italian at his own game with a delicious drop shot to settle the next rally - and that's the third set done and dusted. Come on, who saw that coming?

Murray 6-3 2-6 6-5 * Starace
After a run of nine straight points to Murray, Potito finally responds with a forehand winner but the tide of this match has definitely turned. Murray goes on to hold easily and it is the Italian who must regroup now - he has wasted two chances to serve for this third set, now he is serving to save it.

PimBo on 606: "So a question to those that are actually watching the match rather than just the score - is Starace getting tentative all of a sudden, or is this comeback all Murray's doing?"
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It's good news for a Briton
Murray * 6-3 2-6 5-5 Starace
You couldn't make this up, honestly. Murray could barely hit the ball in 20 minutes ago - now he is playing like a man possessed. He attacks Starace from the start and the Italian doesn't just wobble - he crumbles. Murray breaks to love and suddenly this third set is up for grabs.

Murray 6-3 2-6 4-5 * Starace
This is turning into a rum old battle and if Murray is going to come through, he is doing it the hard way. The Scot saves another set point here with a precise backhand down the line and two big serves later he holds. Starace will still serve for the third set next though...

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"I'm trying to study for exams on Monday. Muzzer just does this to me every time. Come on Andy, you have the game on clay to beat this guy. "
Anonymous student via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton
Murray * 6-3 2-6 3-5 Starace
A breakthrough at last for the Scot and boy did he earn it. Starace is making Murray work for everything - even when the Scot is in at the net he needs three good volleys before wrapping up one point but that is the start of a great spell by the world number three, who produces some magical defensive work to take the next two rallies and then finds a superb winner to complete his break back. Good news at last for Murray...this one is not over yet.
Elsewhere, 12th seed Fernando Gonzalez is through to round three - Good old Gonzo seeing off Portugal's Rui Machado 6-3 6-2 6-3

King of Hi-Vis on 606: "Defeat here would be one of the most crushing defeats of Murray's career and would put a gaping hole in his season. This is really a test of his mettle and it looks like he'll fail it."
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It's good news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 2-5 * Starace
Well, it's a start at least - Murray saves a set point to cling on in this third set - surely time for a Brit Up graphic? He needs to break Starace twice now to stay alive. Easy.

Murray * 6-3 2-6 1-5 Starace
So can Murray find a way back into this match? Er, no, not here anyway. Starace holds to love, again, and the world number 104 looks about 101 places better than his current ranking right now.

Pickles91 on 606: "Murray is giving him the match and it really is pathetic to be honest. I'm a huge fan but he looks utterly clueless today.."
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It's bad news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 1-4 * Starace
Oh dear - this is turning into a disaster for Potito indeed; the Italian has won 10 of the last 12 games. Murray is already 15-30 down when he misses with a wild forehand and, although he saves one breakpoint, he shanks his next forehand low into the net and the Italian is now running away with this third set too.
Oops, you might need a manual refresh to update the score properly from the last game [below]...sorry.
Murray * 6-3 2-6 1-3 Starace
Things are getting better and better for Potito - he holds to love and fires down his first ace of the match for good measure.

It's bad news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 1-2 * Starace
Wow. Inspired stuff from the Italian and he is really turning on the style. Some thumping returns bring him to break point and he takes it brilliantly, bringing Murray to the net again with another superb drop shot before beating him with a delicate lob - top class stuff.

From meeto_1 on 606: "Murray's problem has reared its ugly self over the clay court season. Stringing sets together looks difficult. As if he cant keep it up on clay. Well at least I hope it is a clay specific problem. He has the complete game to win a slam. His biggest problem will always be sustaining it."
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Murray * 6-3 2-6 1-1 Starace
Hmmm. Better from Murray but Starace is still using the drop shot to good effect and one beauty sees Murray end up flat on his face in red dust as he tries, in vain, to reach it. That was at 30-all and another big serve from the Italian on the next point sees him hold.
Right I'm going to listen to you lot and change the way the server is denoted - from now on, including this game, it will refer to the player who will serve next. Got it?

Murray * 6-3 2-6 1-0 Starace
Murray's serve is going to be the key if he comes through this match and it does not let him down here. At 30-all he is wobbling again but two big deliveries, including a superb outswinging ace see him through. Just.

It's bad news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 2-6 * Starace
Signs of life from Murray as he saves a couple of set points and hauls himself back to deuce but that is as good as it gets for him - that Starace forehand unwinds a couple of winners and we are all-square at a set all - lots of work for the Scot to do here...

From Fred_NTFC on 606: "Er....this is the problem in Grand Slams for Murray....soooo many times he switches off in best-of-five-set matches and completely loses his intensity, something you'd never see the likes of Rafa Nadal doing. He's just gift-wrapping this set to his opponent.."
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Murray * 6-3 2-5 Starace
Starace has just won five games on the bounce so it is time for Murray to act. The second set is probably beyond him now but he has to stop his opponent's momentum - and he does so. This is much better from Murray, actually - his serve is solid and he puts Potito on the back foot for the first time in, well, a long time.

Murray 6-3 1-5 * Starace
It's not just the Starace serve which has got bigger in this second set, his forehand is proving to be some weapon right now too. Murray is hanging on in there but whenever he puts anything short down that flank, the Italian buries it.
No such problems for top women's seed Dinara Safina, she is through to round three after beating Russian compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko 6-1 6-1.

From jmb on 606: "Murray never been past the 3rd round here, not a great record, esp for a world no.3 so he will be looking to get into the second week at least here. In reality even if he gets hammered in the semis by Rafa he will consider this an excellent tournament."
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It's bad news for a Briton
Murray * 6-3 1-4 Starace
Ouch. This spells trouble. Murray's serve has gone backwards and he is not getting the same depth with his groundstrokes - his response is to change racquets but it does him little good as Potito breaks again thanks to a rasping backhand cross-court passing shot after Murray's approach clips the net.

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"Murray seems to be hitting far too many forehands short, barely beyond the service line and this is giving Starace far too many chances"
Andrew from St Andrews via text on 81111

Murray 6-3 1-3 * Starace
That Starace serve is definitely up a notch or two and all of a sudden it is Murray who is on the defensive - he seems to be stood a yard further back to receive them than he was in the first set. The Italian is the one on top now.

It's bad news for a Briton
Murray * 6-3 1-2 Starace
Hmmm, more problems for Murray on serve - Starace has stepped things up with his returns and is chucking in the odd drop shot too to keep things interesting. Andy digs in to save four break points but the Italian perseveres and gets his break thanks to a superb sliced backhand passing shot down the line which settles a thrilling rally.

Murray 6-3 1-1 * Starace
Starace was broken twice in the first set but he does much better here - getting the first serve in is still massively important to him but, when he manages it, he is a threat...and he holds to love here to prove it.
No bagel for Dinara Safina in that first set against Vitalia Diatchenko but she won't mind too much - she eventually won it 6-1 and is 3-1 up in the second too.

Murray * 6-3 1-0 Starace
Oooh. A spot of bother for Murray at 15-40 - don't tell me he's going to lose focus now after all that good work? Nope, he recovers to deuce thanks to a couple of dazzling forehands and holds when Potito puts a return into the net.
I must apologise by the way - teething techical problems means this text is not updating've probably already noticed if you're watching the live stream at the same time.

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 6-3 * Starace
Starace is hardly rolling over but he is getting outgunned and outfought at the moment. The Scot's defensive play means he can stay in rallies and his attacking outlet means he has a way of finishing them. He comes to the net to put away two winners and the first set is in the bag.

Murray * 5-3 Starace
Again, more magnificent serving from Murray does not allow his opponent to get a foothold in this set. Starace will have to hold serve to save it, next.
From King of Hi Vis on 606: "Murray's first serve is rapidly becoming one of the best in the game, when he gets it in. It's no surprise to me that his speed is above Federer's and competing with Roddick's." Join the debate on 606

Murray 4-3 * Starace
At 30-all, Starace is on the brink of collapse in this first set but he digs deep to produce a couple of big first serves and they are enough to see him through. Just. Murray is attacking everything at the moment, though, and he remains well in control.

Murray * 4-2 Starace
That Murray serve is still going strong and again it is the foundation for an easy hold. Potito is doing well to get it back, and he is not managing that too often to be honest. Great stuff from the Scot.
BBC Sport's John Lloyd: "Andy looks very comfortable already. After just six games, it looks like Starace is struggling to find a gameplan to beat the Scot."

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 3-2 * Starace
Well, it was coming - Murray makes his first breakthrough on the Starace serve, and does so in style too with one superb reach to put away a drop volley when it looked more likely that he would end up flat on his face. He is just too consistent for the Italian at the moment.
Top women's seed Dinara Safina is already into her stride over on Suzanne Lenglen, and is two breaks up at 5-0 against another Russian Vitalia Diatchenko. Safina got a double bagel against Britain's Anne Keothavong in round one, surely she's not hungry for more?

Murray * 2-2 Starace
A good chance gone for Murray there but the good news is that Starace is not getting anywhere near Murray's deliveries at the moment. The Scot has only dropped one point on serve so far and looks tres comfortable. Early days though, of course.

Murray 1-2 * Starace
A first sniff for Murray, who has a couple of break-points at 15-40 after bringing Starace into the net and out of his comfort zone. The Italian recovers well, however, thanks to a couple of poor shots from the Scot and a delicate drop shot from Potito. We're still with serve...

Murray * 1-1 Starace
No messing about from Murray either, who like his opponent is wearing an all-black number. Only one sloppy shot from the third seed, when he sends a thudding forehand into the net, but he is up and running too.

Murray 0-1 * Starace
A confident start from Starace on serve and Murray only gets the chance to step in and hammer back one return. The Italian holds with a flourish too, showing a great touch at the net to put away a back to front forehand after some decent approach work from the Scot.

1002: Murray and Starace are out on court - lots of empty seats, as is the norm for these early starts in Paris
From Foscari on 606: Andy Murray should win as long as he does not play "pat a cake" with Potito Starace and attacks like he did against Chela. Join the debate on 606

0958: If you give this page a quick manual refresh you should now be able to see the live stream, if you're in the UK that is... Just time to tell you what else is going on around the courts today...plenty, by the looks of things. The top men and women's seeds, Rafael Nadal and Dinara Safina, will look to continue their progress - Safina is first on Suzanne Lenglen and Rafa is last on the same court. Elsewhere, Marat Safin, defending women's champion Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova are all in action too.

0955: By the way, Potito's idols include Andre Agassi and legendary Italian footballer Roberto Baggio. I just hope he doesn't mention that next time he goes to get his hair cut - or is there a style called the 'Divine Mullet'?

0949: You probably know by now that the red stuff is not Murray's favourite surface - he has not won a Tour title on clay yet, despite some improved performances in 2009. But if you've got any doubts about his ability to win this tournament, here's Ross Hutchins, his best mate and training partner, talking about what makes Andy so good.
Watch - Why Murray is so good

0945: Right, I'm going to do my best to avoid Potato/Potito gags today but please don't mash me up if I mention any cheeky chips from the Italian or the odd crisp volley...

0941: The Scot is first on Court Phillipe Chatrier at around 1000 BST and, if you want to follow his progress, then we are all over it: He is live on BBC Two, streamed live on this website (if you're in the UK) and there is live commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. Oh, and I'm here too.

0938: Yep, Murray takes on Italy's 'hot' Potito Starace today in the second round. The Italian is ranked 104 in the world but his favourite surface is clay and he has a slightly better record at Roland Garros than the Scot, having reached the third round here twice in 2004 and 2007 - Murray has managed that just once, in 2008.

The sun is out
0935: Morning all - I've got a proposition for you. Forget all about Rome and tonight's Champions League final for a few hours and come to Paris with me and Andy Murray instead. The sun, the Seine and a few sets of French Open tennis - how about it?

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see also
Battling Murray sees off Starace
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Ruthless Nadal into round three
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Sizzling Sharapova wins thriller
27 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day four pictures
27 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day three as it happened
26 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day two as it happened
25 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day one as it happened
24 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's doubles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis

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