Murray raises his game to topple Kuznetsov

Updated: 

Top seed Andy Murray raised his game after a poor second set to see off Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday.

The world number one arrived at Roland Garros in poor form, having made early exits in Madrid and Rome on clay in what has been a difficult year so far.

Murray improved as the match progressed on Court Philippe Chatrier, sealing a 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-0 victory on day three with coach Ivan Lendl in his corner for the first time since the Australian Open.

Last year's runner-up was flat in the second set, berating himself on several occasions while looking up to his box, but although Kuznetsov made him work, the Brit can look forward to facing Martin Klizan in round two.

Murray lost the first three points of the match on serve, but won five in a row to hold and went a break up at 4-2 when Kuznetsov drilled a forehand way beyond the baseline.

The Wimbledon champion failed to serve out the set, but a double fault from the outsider gave Murray three set points and he let out a bellow after his opponent netted a backhand.

Kuznetsov responded impressively, prompting Murray to applaud after the Russian fizzed a forehand past him to break in the first game of the second set.

Murray broke straight back, but Kuznetsov was enjoying himself as he played with freedom and regained the upper hand with a delicate drop shot before going a double break up at 5-2 with a fierce backhand winner.

The Scot managed to break back again and continued to smile, without really looking happy, but he was pegged back at a set apiece when the underdog fired another forehand winner down the line.

Murray walked off court for a break shaking his head and came back with more of a spring in his step, drawing gasps from the crowd when he defended desperately to somehow win a point en route to taking a 3-0 lead in the third.

A more aggressive approach saw Murray move 2-1 up in sets when an advancing Kuznetsov sent a backhand volley wide and the Olympic champion was a cut above in a one-sided fourth.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Murray [1] bt Kuznetsov 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-0

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Murray- 29/24
Kuznetsov - 34/45

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Murray - 2/2
Kuznetsov - 6/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Murray - 9/10
Kuznetsov - 4/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Murray - 58
Kuznetsov - 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Murray - 72/54
Kuznetsov - 56/36

TOTAL POINTS
Murray - 118
Kuznetsov - 82