Emotional Murray beats torn tendon to book place in quarters

Scotsman 'taking 20 pills a day' but overcomes pain to knock out Serbian and set up Chela clash

It was by no means the biggest win of his career but Andy Murray has rarely felt as emotional after a match. The 24-year-old Scot buried his head in his towel after completing his recovery from two sets down to beat Serbia's Viktor Troicki 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 here yesterday in the fourth round of the French Open, having trailed 5-2 in the deciding set.

The performance was all the more remarkable given that Murray had been given crutches after suffering an ankle injury in his previous match and is taking up to 20 pills a day.

Having secured a place in the quarter-finals, in which he will face Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela today, Murray revealed that an MRI scan on his right ankle, which he had sprained while beating Michael Berrer in the third round, had revealed a partial tear in a tendon. He was advised not to put any weight on the ankle the following day, though he did not use the crutches he was lent "because I did not know how to".

Murray, who said he had had difficulty climbing stairs, did not initially expect to be fit to play in the fourth round but decided after extensive treatment that he would give it a go. He said he was particularly aware of the fact that he had good records against both Troicki and Chela, the two men he needed to beat before a possible semi-final showdown with Rafael Nadal, although he knew the danger of aggravating the injury.

"If you go over on the ankle again, that's dangerous, because obviously it's weak just now," he said. "Chasing balls down and sliding for balls, that was what was really tough for me at the start. I didn't feel like I still had the strength in it. That's the one thing I need to be careful with. To go over on it again would be an issue. That's why I had the taping on the ankle, to try and stop that."

Initially cautious in his movement, Murray lost the first two sets on Monday evening, but, as confidence in his ankle grew, levelled the match by the time play was called off for the day at 9.30pm. He admitted he was a bag of nerves when he returned to a chilly Court Suzanne Lenglen for yesterday afternoon's one-set shoot-out.

Painkillers helped him get through the match. "They were very, very strong pills," Murray said. "I feel a million bucks now. I am sure when they wear off I won't."

Although he still had difficulty pushing off on his serves or sliding to hit his forehands, Murray had the better of the opening exchanges, forcing break points in three of Troicki's first four service games. However, the world No 15 defended them stoutly and broke to lead 4-2, despite an extraordinary moment of bad luck on the first point of the game. A ballboy, thinking a Murray lob was going wide, came on to the court before the ball had landed. Troicki still put away an easy smash, but the umpire correctly ruled that the point should be replayed.

Troicki was on the brink of victory when he served at 5-3 and 30-0, but Murray won the next four points courtesy of a fine backhand return winner and three errors by his increasingly nervous opponent. Two games later Murray broke again, after which he converted his fourth match point with a beautifully struck backhand cross-court passing shot. It was the fifth time in his career that he had come back to win from two sets down.

Murray, who has beaten Chela, his quarter-final opponent today, in their last six meetings, said: "It was just very emotional for me after the last few days, last night, coming back. I think it's the first time I've had to come back and just play one set for a place in the quarter-finals of a Slam, with the other things that have been going on in my head with the injury."

He added: "About 10 minutes beforehand I was pretty much out of the tournament. I just managed to turn it around. So it was a little bit of a surprise, a little bit of happiness, a lot of relief probably."

Roger Federer secured a semi-final meeting with Novak Djokovic when he beat France's Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-3, 7-6. Djokovic went through due to Fabio Fognini's withdrawal.

In the women's competition, Francesca Schiavone was a set and 4-2 down against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but recovered to win 1-6, 7-5, 7-5. In the semi-finals the defending champion will face France's Marion Bartoli, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6, 6-4.

To complete an excellent day for the Murray family, brother Jamie and his partner, Nadia Petrova, reached the semi-finals of the mixed doubles by beating Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares 5-7, 6-3, 10-7. They now face the top seeds, Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic.

Today's best action

Andy Murray v Juan Ignacio Chela

Murray (world No 4) lost to Chela (No 34) at the 2006 Australian Open but has since beaten him six times in a row, including here in 2009 and 2010.

Rafael Nadal v Robin Soderling

Soderling is the only player ever to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, though Nadal earned revenge in the 2010 final.

Maria Sharapova v Andrea Petkovic

Sharapova has been starting slowly but can ill afford a repeat against Petkovic, who is in her second successive Grand Slam quarter-final.

Victoria Azarenka v Li Na

Azarenka (world No 4) is the highest-ranked woman left but has never gone further at a Grand Slam event.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea