Andy Murray fends off Nalbandian challenge
Tuesday 15 May 2012
Andy Murray was pushed to the limit by former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian before booking his place in the third round of the Rome Masters with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win.
There was no hint of the drama to follow when Murray, playing for the first time since missing the Madrid Masters with a back injury, swept through the first set and looked ready for a quick night.
But Nalbandian battled back to level the match and went a break up in the decider before his frequent unforced errors began to tell and Murray clawed back to serve out for the match after two hours and 37 minutes.
There were no signs in the first set of Murray's stuttering start to the season, which apart from his back injury also saw him suffer a shock loss to Milos Raonic in the Barcelona Open last month.
Murray broke Nalbandian twice to blaze into a 4-0 lead and after breaking the Argentinian for a third time the Scot served out to take the set, with Nalbandian complaining about glare from the setting sun.
Nalbandian looked much stronger from the start of the second set, and both players found their form on serve with no break points for either until Murray served to stay in the set at 4-5 down and was broken.
Murray had the first chance in the decider, fashioning two break points on the Nalbandian serve at 1-1, but the Argentinian hung on and went on to break Murray to seize the advantage.
But Murray responded by breaking back immediately and grabbed the crucial second break at 5-5, when after spurning his first two of three break points, he only converted the third after the most fortunate of net cords.
Nalbandian was not quite finished, going 15-40 up on his opponent's serve as Murray served for the match, but a backhand drive which clipped the outside of the line helped Murray haul back to deuce before rounding off a gutsy win.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments