Andy Murray moved into the second round of the French Open on Tuesday after a fairly routine opener against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. The World No 1 did not suffer any serious trouble against the Russian despite enduring a largely disappointing season which has carried on into claycourt events. The Briton came out 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 win with a flurry of unbelievable retrievals and never-say-die attitude which is the trademark of his game and becomes even more visible on the slower clay courts.
Kuznetsov, ranked 73rd in the world, couldn’t prove the same style of tennis that helped him to the semifinals of the ATP Geneva Open last week as the players took court at a packed Philippe-Chatrier stadium. Murray, in comparison, didn’t look as intimated by the sight of clay and of the task at hand as he looked good from the back of the court.
Murray didn’t start as confidently as he would have liked. At some times he looked subdued and his tennis not powerful enough to get past Kuznetsov with utter ease. But it was enough to win the first set despite dropping his serve while serving for the opener. Kuznetsov, though, didn’t make the most of the chance to extend the opening set as he was broken.
In the second, Murray lost his way by dropping four straight games and Kuznetsov didn’t need a second invitation to close out the set and hope to carry the momentum into the third.
However, things didn’t pan out that way for the Russian. Murray then upped his game from the back of the court with deep groundstrokes, drop shots and lobs all packed in.
“He (Kuznetsov) goes for his shots, he plays very aggressively… so he takes your time away. But it was quite windy today… and that can make things difficult,” Murray said in a courtside interview. “I started to play better as the match went on… I have very good memories of Paris and I will try to have another good run this year.”