French Open 2014: Andy Murray drops set on way into second round at Roland Garros

The Scot came through 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 against Andrey Golubev

Andy Murray won a scrappy contest against Andrey Golubev to mark his return to the French Open with a four-set win.

The Wimbledon champion began well, but got bogged down in heavy conditions and dropped the third set before recovering to win 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Murray, who missed the tournament last year with back problems, will play either Australian Marinko Matosevic or German-Jamaican Dustin Brown in the second round.

Murray made a fast start on his return to the French Open as he won the opening set of his first-round clash with Kazakhstan's Golubev in 34 minutes.

The Wimbledon champion did not allow his opponent to hold serve once, taking it 6-1 in cool conditions on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It was the first set Murray had played at Roland Garros since his 2012 quarter-final loss to David Ferrer after missing last year's tournament with back problems.

Murray had won both his previous two matches against Golubev easily, but the world number 53 is a flashy player who last month beat Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup.

Murray made the perfect start, breaking the Golubev serve in the second game, his quality and consistency proving too much for the Kazakh.

He had to save a break point in the next game, which he did with a big serve and, when Golubev double-faulted to give Murray a 4-0 lead, the set was all but over.

The Scot was having more trouble on his own serve and Golubev took his third chance to break only to then drop serve for the third time.

That left Murray serving for the set and, although Golubev saved three set points, he then drove long on the fourth.

Murray has had an indifferent season so far but went into the French Open on the back of one of the best clay-court performances of his career, albeit in defeat to Rafael Nadal in Rome.

He was mostly dealing well with Golubev's streaky play, the Kazakh mixing winners with shanks and simple errors.

He finally held serve to start the second set but in the fifth game Murray pounced again, only to then throw in a poor game of his own as Golubev levelled at 4-4.

The Scot appeared to be bothered by a TV camera suspended on wires, which was in his eyeline when he served, and he complained to the umpire.

But he forged ahead again straight away by breaking serve for the fifth time, and then held on to take the set 6-4 when Golubev netted a forehand.

Murray bemoaned his lack of intensity after breaking Golubev again at the start of the third set only to drop serve immediately.

The seventh seed was certainly finding it a bit more of a struggle than he would have liked, and he dropped serve for the second successive time with a double fault to trail 3-1.

Golubev returned the favour, but Murray was really struggling with his serve now, failing to land even one in three of his first serves, and it was not until he was 5-2 down that he finally held serve in the set.

That left Golubev serving for it, and the Kazakh, whose only win at Roland Garros came in 2009, produced an impressive game to clinch the set 6-3.

A better start to the fourth set was important for Murray and he managed it, holding serve fairly comfortably for once and then breaking Golubev for 2-0.

Murray's stats were hardly impressive, but the Kazakh had broken his half-century for unforced errors.

The Scot had a point for 4-0 after a remarkable backhand winner hit without looking at the court, but Golubev saved that.

He saved two match points as well, but missed a return on the third as Murray ground out victory after two hours and 35 minutes.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
people
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us