Murray triumphs in five sets at French
PARIS — As if ordering room service, Andy Murray's latest unheralded French Open tormenter requested that a can of Coke and a Mars bar be brought to him right there on Court Philippe Chatrier for sustenance during their five-setter.
Truth is, it was Murray who appeared in need of a jolt of some sort, especially while he was losing 16 points in a row during one stretch.
"I lost my way on the court today," Murray said, "for quite a while."
For now, Murray is still in the mix at Roland Garros, reaching the third round by coming from behind yet again to win 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday against French wild-card entry Mathias Bourgue, who was playing in the second tour-level match of his life. The second-seeded Murray acknowledged he can't keep getting pushed to the limit if he has designs on adding a third Grand Slam title to his collection.
"I need to go and rest," said Murray, already on court for 10 sets and more than 7 hours. "It's been a tough, tough few days."
Murray, three times a semifinalist in Paris, never had won consecutive five-set matches in any tournament. But he twice overcame a set deficit before edging 37-year-old qualifier Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in a first-round match suspended by darkness Monday and completed Tuesday.
Then, against Bourgue — a 22-year-old buoyed by a partisan crowd that repeatedly regaled their man with standing ovations and jeered line calls that didn't go his way — Murray dropped eight straight games, including that 16-point drought, and fell behind by two sets to one.
"I couldn't believe it myself," Bourgue said. "I was very happy. I was very proud. I knew I was on top of things at that point."
Not surprisingly, it didn't last.
Murray's next opponent is No. 27 Ivo Karlovic, who hit 41 aces to beat Australian wild-card entry Jordan Thompson 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 12-10 and become, at 37, the oldest man to reach a major's third round since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 U.S. Open.
Most of the other top seeds in action Wednesday won in straight sets, including defending champion Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic and the last two American men, No. 15 John Isner and No. 23 Jack Sock. Among the women, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 4 Garbine Muguruza, No. 10 Petra Kvitova, No. 11 Lucie Safarova and No. 19 Sloane Stephens advanced in two sets.