Andy Murray into third round of French Open

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray battled his way into the third round of the French Open with a gutsy 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 7-5 victory over dangerous lucky loser Simone Bolelli this afternoon.

The world number four struggled to find his best form in very tricky conditions but showed terrific spirit to come through in straight sets on Court Philippe Chatrier.

An opponent ranked 126th in the world who lost in the final round of qualifying did not look too daunting on paper but Bolelli was in the top 40 two years ago and is no mug, particularly on clay.

The Italian showed just that in the first game, pushing Murray way behind the baseline with big groundstrokes and forcing him to save two break points.

Bolelli was not to be denied in the Scot's next service game, though, shrugging off the loss of three break points to take a fourth when Murray double-faulted.

But, having barely missed a ball in the first three games, the Italian then committed four unforced errors in a row to hand his advantage straight back.

Bolelli was not done, though, breaking again to lead 3-2 as Murray struggled for consistency on his serve in cool and windy conditions.

The fourth seed was in the ascendancy if he could keep his opponent on his backhand but that was proving easier said than done.

A break point came and went in the eighth game but, with Bolelli serving for the set, Murray dug in and levelled at 5-5.

The wind whipping up the dry clay was making it difficult for both players but the 24-year-old used it to his advantage to save two more break points and then created two set points in the next game only for Bolelli to come up with the goods.

The tie-break was a nervy affair, not helped by moving spectators delaying the resumption of play after the change of ends, but it was Murray who kept his cool the best to clinch the set with a drilled backhand down the line.

It must have been a tough set to lose for the Italian, who was the better player for a large part of it, and he carried that disappointment into the second set as Murray broke to love in the first game.

But the fourth seed was still struggling with his serve and two double-faults allowed Bolelli to break back to love.

Unlike in the first set, though, Murray seemed broadly in control of the match now, with his opponent no longer forcing the Scot to scurry around behind the baseline on almost every point.

A second break of serve duly arrived in the seventh game and from there it was a straightforward process for the Scot to serve out the set and move to within sight of a place in the third round.

Murray had a glorious chance to break in the seventh game of the decider when he went up 0-40 on the Bolelli serve but he let his opponent off the hook, and the fourth seed was made to pay in the next game.

Murray saved two break points, the second with a superb forehand winner right onto the baseline, but on the third a sliced backhand sat up nicely for Bolelli to smack away.

The Italian had not shown himself to be the best at serving for the set, though, and so it proved again as some wayward shots coupled with clever Murray play brought him back on level terms.

The Scot then made it two breaks in a row with a couple of brilliant backhands down the line, a shot Bolelli had struggled to deal with throughout the match.

Now it was Murray's turn to serve for the set, and the match of course, and, although he went down 0-30, he fought his way back, sealing victory with another backhand winner and letting out a great roar of celebration.