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Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 14:13 UK

Andy Murray v Philipp Kohlschreiber as it happened

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By Tom Fordyce


idontlikethem via Twitter: "@tomfordyce I show my support for Murray by backing him to win in my fantasy tennis tournament, and this is how he repays me?!"

1537: Boos and whistles as Murray trudges from the court, and you can understand it - as lame a display as I've ever seen from Murray. Physically, mentally and tactically he was all over the shop out there. Zut alors.

Murray 1-6 Kohlschreiber
This is almost embarrassing. Murray, listless, insipid, can't wait for this to be over. Double fault to cant at deuce, wonderful running backhand from PK to set up his first match point. A mere hour gone. Weak first serve, weaker second - his next shot sits up with a big 'hit me' sign around his neck, PK slams it into the corner and Murray flaps his return into the net. It's all over.

Murray * 1-5 Kohlschreiber
It's almost as if Murray doesn't want to be out there - he's letting PK stroll away with this. Straightforward hold, and we're on the brink. Something serious is amiss in Camp Murray.

Murray 1-4 Kohlschreiber *
Murray's first-serve percentage is at a lamentable 32% right now, and that's a one-way ticket back to the locker-room. Dreadful ballooned forehand long, mis-hit backhand into the net, help-yourself forehand to be put away with relish for two more break points. He saves one with a rare first-serve boomer but when another half-hearted forehand drifts deep, the game is gone. Two breaks, and even the rumoured presence of Jonny Wilkinson and his Toulon team-mates won't be enough to save the day if this carries on.

Murray * 1-3 Kohlschreiber
The strangest thing about this display by Murray is his mute acceptance of all the errors - there's no zip, no battle and no brouhaha to speak of. Easy hold for the German, and Murray is yet to generate a single break point on his opponent's steady-eddie service.

Murray 1-2 Kohlschreiber *
A blip has just become a mini-crisis - Murray goes on the attack, but PK scurries and fetches like the broomsticks in the Sorcerer's Apprentice - wonderful defence, and when a Murray forehand is gobbled up by the net, the break has been stolen away. The crowd roar their approval - Murray needs something fast...

Murray * 1-1 Kohlschreiber
Clouds drift in front of the sun to cast the court into shadow, but PK continues to shine - solid first serves, groundstrokes with depth and spin and rapid skipping steps to cut off any angle. Too easy for the 26-year-old German.

Dan Baxter via Twitter: "@tomfordyce re: 1430... I'm off to play some tennis. Wearing pale blue polo with navy shorts, just in case you're interested."

Murray 1-0 Kohlschreiber *
Strangely flaccid display so far from the world no.4, but at last he starts landing some first serves to go to 40-15. No no - weak forehand drop-shot, and that was nowhere close, but Kohls goes long with his next forehand and the game is pocketed. First set factoid: Murray hit almost 70% of his shots to the PK backhand. Interesting tactics.

FIRST SET

Murray * 2-6 Kohlschreiber
PK kicking a bit of a fuss there at the changeover - seems to be complaining about his towel being moved. I know what Sir Alex would say about it. There's a chance for Murray when uncharacteristic errors take us to 30-30 and second serve, but he thrashes the return into the net and rages at the empty skies above. It gets worse a few moments later - simple put-away overhead at the tape, spanked miles long to toss away the set.

Murray 2-5 Kohlschreiber *
Murray's first serve percentage down in the dumps so far this afternoon, and that's giving his German opponent a big foothold in the match. For once PK's drop-shots add a key consonant to drop short, and Murray squeezes his second game away. Ilie Nastase in the stands there, a pink lambswool sweater draped around his neck - a wolf in sheep's clothing in the truest sense.

Murray * 1-5 Kohlschreiber
Now then - first hint of the Murray magic as PK gets a little shaky with the set in sight. The Brit no.1 starts to dominate the baseline and get the forehand driving - ach, big chance there after controlling the rally, but the attempted winner cannons into the net-cord and drops back on his half of the court. Big flashing backhand - tape again, this time sending the ball fliping up and into the tramlines. PK in the driving seat with pedal to metal.

Murray 1-4 Kohlschreiber *
Dear oh dear - it's the Murray of Dubai and Miami rather than Melbourne out there at the moment, and two more forehand errors leave him listing at 15-40. Ballsy second serve out wide, fast and flat, and that's 30-40, but when a PK passing-shot clips the tape and skips up and over the Murray thrust, the German has his double break. Trouble. Big sweaty trouble.

Murray * 1-3 Kohlschreiber
The four open stands now full to the brim with elegant punters - patrons, surely, in these rarefied surroundings - and there's a murmur of surprise as Murray comes up with three successive errors (wide, long, net) to fall to 0-40. PK bang on the money here, and a splendid forehand drop-shot leaves the Scotsman stranded and bereft.

Murray 1-2 Kohlschreiber *
Delightful exchange of angled drop-shots, and PK comes out on top when his backhand dinker dies a death in the baking clay. The German has a glimmer at 0-30 but mis-hits a simple forehand into the net, and Murray wipes away a few stray beads from his brow with relief. A super series of forehands into Murray's backhand corner draws the break point, and when Murray slices a feeble backhand into the net, the game has slipped away.

Murray * 1-1 Kohlschreiber
That's nice from PK, using that big backhand of his to drive Murray deeper and deeper with whippy topspin and then slicing in a dropper for the coup de grace. Murray clunks a weak backhand into the net to drift to 0-40 but then creams a cross-court backhand off a weak second serve to draw applause from the perspiring punters. It's all for naught, however, as PK finds a sweet angle off the backhand to bring us level.

Murray 1-0 Kohlschreiber *
Murray to serve first, and he's into a groove from the get-go - solid serves, crisp forehands to the corners, and a hold to love that's as untroubled as the waters of Monaco harbour.

* denotes next server

1430: Quick heads-up for the fashionistas: PK in Coventry blue shirt and baggy black shorts; AM in crisp white with blue shorts. Each to their own.

1425: Smashing day on the Mediterranean coast - bright blue sky overhead, a wisping of skinny cloud and the merest sniff of a salty breeze. Here come the players, pacing out onto the rusty-coloured court. Big fan of clay, PK, with a sweet backhand in his armoury, and he'll be a test for Murray today.

1420: PK, as all text commentators are inevitably forced to call him once the action gets underway, is also a big Bayern Munch supporter. There's a convoluted Bayern/angry Scotsman/typical German gag to be made here, but since the players are tying up shoelaces in the locker-rooms, I'll have to leave it alone.

1415: What's that - you don't know much about Murray's second-round opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber? The same Philipp Kohlschreiber who began playing tennis aged four, stands a mere 5' 10", is ranked 33 in the world and has a mother named Maria who is a kindergarten teacher?

1410: Ah, Monte Carlo in spring - enough to put a smile on the face even of a man badly beaten in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. Andy Murray, your clay court revival starts here.



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see also
Murray crashes to dismal defeat
14 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Murray out to protect world ranking
10 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Murray enters Monte Carlo Masters
03 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Fish punishes out-of-sorts Murray
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray bows out in Indian Wells
20 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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